Patty Trejo needed some technique to let her husband, Joe Trejo, know that she’s with him whilst he breathes by means of a ventilator.
So she turned to music. Trejo employed a mariachi band to serenade him exterior Providence St. Jude Medical Center in Fullerton. And on Monday, Feb. 15, inside his room within the hospital’s intensive care unit, their tune “La Mano de Dios” (The Hand of God) was streamed reside through a cellphone.
Joe Trejo, in a medically induced coma as he struggles with COVID-19, heard the tune, she mentioned. Patty is bound of it. She was lucky that hospital employees allowed her to be together with her husband in that moment, the primary time she had seen him in particular person since she took him to the hospital a month in the past.
“I know people say ‘They can’t hear you,’” Patty mentioned Tuesday. “But I know he did.”
Clutching a white rosary in her proper hand, she mentioned she prayed even more durable when she was by his aspect. “And he opened his eyes, moved his head and coughed,” she mentioned.
She positioned the rosary in his hand, in addition to his cross, which she has been carrying.
“I put my arms around him and kissed his hands. I know he felt it.”
Until final Friday, Patty had not been public about her husband’s sickness. But she selected to publish it on a son’s Facebook web page as a result of she mentioned she wants extra “prayer warriors.”
The response from associates, co-workers, far-away family members and even strangers has been heartwarming, she mentioned. Patty, 54, works as a instructor’s aide within the Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District. Joe, 53, works as a locksmith for the Anaheim Union High School District.
“I never felt so much support and love from family and coworkers and friends,” she mentioned.
“He’s going to get through this.”
The Trejo family has been exhausting hit by the virus this year.
Patty, Joe and two of their three grownup youngsters, who reside with the couple in Anaheim, all contracted the virus. One of her sons was severely ailing and Patty feared he would die. Her father, in the meantime, additionally received COVID-19 and died on Feb. 4. A day later, Joe was positioned on a ventilator.
“There were times I said, ‘I can’t help anybody. I can’t move.’”
Patty and her youngest son, Chris, 18, grew to become sick within the first days of the brand new year. Per week later, her son Matt, 19, was so sick he was vomiting blood. Around the identical time, Joe had a dry hacking cough.
On Jan. 15, Patty dropped off Joe at St. Jude. Meanwhile, her son Matt “wasn’t looking good.” Checking an oximeter, she noticed that his oxygen saturation stage was dangerously low. But when she drove Matt that night time to a different hospital, nearer to their Anaheim house, she noticed paramedics with sufferers on gurneys ready in line.
Patty took her son again house, continued with medicines, steam baths and nebulizations, none of which have been simple as a result of he has autism and would scream at instances. So, nonetheless feeling sick herself, she sat subsequent to him within the steamy lavatory, hoping it could assist ease the phlegm in his chest. “As long as I sang to him or played a movie, he could stand it for about 20 minutes at a time.”
At the start, her husband might nonetheless speak on the cellphone, although he was having bother respiration. And from his hospital mattress, he provided encouragement: “He would tell me, ‘You can do this.’”
By late January, Patty and her son Chris felt higher. Per week later, so did her son Matt. But Joe, who was nonetheless hospitalized, developed pneumonia. And on Feb. 5, he was sedated and intubated as a result of he couldn’t breathe on his personal.
“Hand of God”
Patty and Joe have been a couple for greater than 38 years, 35 of these married. They met at a live performance on the outdated Billy Barty’s curler skating rink in Fullerton. He later instructed her, “The first time I met you, I fell in love with you.”
Music has all the time been a half of their life. They take pleasure in concert events and a few family members wish to sing collectively. Joe is especially fond of Motown and mariachi music.
“He would sing to me.”
During the primary three weeks of Joe’s hospital keep, the family – all members of St. Anthony Mary Claret parish in Anaheim – prayed with him over the cellphone. And they performed music for him.
So together with her husband nonetheless in intensive care, Patty selected to convey a little reside music to his life. She selected a tune that he loves, “The Hand of God,” a Spanish-language tune that additionally was particular to Joe’s dad and mom. She employed the mariachi group Trío Palenque, which performed it a couple of instances together with different favorites exterior the hospital.
The couple’s three sons, Chris, Matt and Joseph, have been exterior St. Jude whereas their mom was allowed to briefly be together with her husband. A hospital spokeswoman mentioned Tuesday that’s allowed in some conditions.
Patty mentioned she’s grateful to the hospital employees and to the rising quantity of people who find themselves looking for her husband’s recovery.
“I want to thank everyone who is praying for him.”
The prayers, she mentioned, have given her hope.