Local woman shares her story after losing husband to COVID-19


ROGERS, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) – A Northwest Arkansas woman is sharing her story after her husband died from COVID-19.

Rae Harris said she and her husband both got COVID-10 last month on vacation. Harris said she had been vaccinated and her husband had not. In the end, she survived and her husband did not.

Harris said another key factor played in though, and that was her husband not getting to the hospital soon enough.

“Doctors have a spiritual gift to heal and if we’d listened to God in the first place he’d have already been in the hospital days before he was,” Harris said.

Harris said her husband insisted on waiting a few days to go to the hospital after testing positive for COVID-19.

“I knew he was dehydrated then flu-like symptoms hit him and he started throwing up and I was like, ‘We’re done,’ I knew he couldn’t go without water and I took him to ER.”

Ultimately, Harris said he lost his life weeks after fighting on a ventilator.

Mercy Hospital Critical Care Dr. Jason McKinney said where COVID-19 patients were once between 60-80, the average is now much younger.

“Across the board, we’re seeing the average age of the person requiring admission be on the younger side,” he said.

Beds are running out quickly, though, with eight ICU beds left in the entire state as of Monday, not counting those at the VA.

“I think it’s more serious than what, honestly, a lot of the public believes it is,” Dr. McKinney said.

Harris said still, you should not hesitate to get to the hospital if you are extremely sick with the virus.

“I hope that other people will stop being scared to go to the ER, stop being stubborn, they will get help when they need it- even if it just helps one person.”

While Harris said she wishes her husband would have gotten to the hospital sooner, she is now left to focus on one thing to get her through his death due to COVID-19.

“I’ll miss him,” Harris said. “I’ll break down and crack, everybody does. But it’s my faith that’s what’s most important and I’ll listen to God and wait and see what’s next.”

A spokesperson with NWA Healthcare Providers said if hospitals run out of ICU beds, the next step would be using non-emergency and elective surgery beds for those in critical condition.

But, again, health professionals say the key to avoiding this is to get your vaccine.

According to Mercy Hospital, it is crucial to get to the hospital if you are experiencing trouble breathing, confusion or disorientation or having trouble staying conscious.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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