by Frank Pauc
This first appeared in Frank’s blog on December 12, 2020, as “Gratitude.” It is republished here with the author’s permission.
My wife, Karin, is home. I just drove her back from the COVID care facility at State Fair Park. She was there for three nights. Karin is healing (she eats now), but she is still very weak.
The Alternative Care Facility is run by the State of Wisconsin. It’s enormous. The overflow hospital opened up on October 14th, but so far it has only served 156 patients. It has the ability to provide beds to hundreds of people. Based on how the pandemic is going into overdrive, the facility may in fact need those beds.
Karin told me that the staff members were all really nice. They sent her home with devices to help her build up her lung capacity. Karin told me that the facility was extremely loud (the ventilation fans make a racket). The place was also very well lit. Once I got Karin into her own bedroom, she leaned back on her pillow and said,
“It’s dark here, and it’s quiet.”
I am grateful that Karin was able to get medical help. She was slowly fading while she was with me at home. It was like Karin’s life was ebbing away. The people at the care facility were able to turn her around. Karin isn’t done with COVID, not even close, but I am no longer worried that COVID is going to kill her.
Our grandson, Asher, is doing well in the NICU at St. Joseph Hospital in Milwaukee. He will be there for six more weeks. He struggles at times. Premature babies have to be fighters. He only weighs 3 lbs. and 13 ounces. Like Karin did, Asher is getting excellent care. I have heard wonderful things about the staff at St. Joseph. The little boy is in the best place he could possibly be for now.
I used to think that signs that said, “Thank you, frontline heroes!” were just empty words. I don’t believe that any more. These people really are heroes. I am grateful to them.