Man woke from coma to learn coronavirus had killed wife
69-year-old Lawrence Nokes was taken off the respirator on April 10, his doctors certain he would recover. As he showed positive signs, Nokes, a nursing assistant at United States' Maryland, asked about Minnette Nokes, his wife of 24 years. After initially showing reluctance, his kin and doctors told him Minnette died of coronavirus. Days later, Nokes passed away too. Here's their heartbreaking story.
Employed as a nursing assistant with Pleasant View Nursing Home in Mt. Airy, Nokes was treating COVID-19 patients. One of the biggest hotspots of the virus in the state, 84 of the 95 inhabitants of the hospital contracted the virus. On March 30, Nokes was taken to Carroll Hospital Center and intubated. After spending almost a week in a coma, his situation improved.
After she sent her husband to the emergency room, Minnette felt tired all the time, her daughters said. Because of quarantine, she couldn't see her family or friends. On April 7, a day before she was to turn 72, she had a heart attack and passed away in her sleep. With her demise, their love story, decorated with scintillating Sunday nights, ended.
After learning of Minnette's death, Nokes's breathing got irregular again. He asked the staff to let him sign a "do-not-resuscitate" order, which means that he didn't want CPR if his heart stopped. Nokes wanted to stop medical treatment as well. "He was brokenhearted. He did any and everything for my mother, so this — it took its toll," his step-daughter Carrie Kelly said.
On April 10, Nokes spoke to his children and grandchildren, telling them what to do with his belongings. To his stepdaughter, Chaunda Stewart, Nokes kept apologizing. He felt responsible for Minnette catching the virus. On April 15, he breathed his last.
Kelly remembered both of them as people who were always good to everyone. "I'm still angry at Pleasant View, still confused at how quickly we lost them both," she said. For Minnette's 70th birthday, her kids threw a surprise party and she greeted guests with a twinkle in her eyes. "She was the light. For all of us, but especially for him," Kelly said.