North Texas couple shares their story of dealing with COVID-19, as hospital staff gives special send off

A North Texas couple is sharing their story of dealing with COVID-19.

This comes after one of them was diagnosed, and spent three weeks in the hospital recovering.

Shawn Cook has been married to his wife for 24 years.

They have two boys together: a 22-year-old and a 20-year-old.

The couple was living a normal life, and then COVID-19 came into the picture and kept them apart for 20 days, as Cook fought for his life.

On Saturday, they were reunited.

“It’s Easter weekend and I feel we’ve been given a miracle to have him back with us,” Cook’s wife, Traci, said.

Traci said her prayers have been answered.

Her husband began feeling sick on March 15.

“Lost his sense of taste and smell and developed fever. Weren’t sure if that was a symptom of COVID,” she explained.

He developed a fever that didn’t come down.

“The highest it got was 103, right before we went to the hospital. On the 23rd of March and 24th, he had to go on a ventilator. His breathing had gotten so bad,” Traci recalled. “He has been here for 20 days, and 15 of those days he was on a ventilator in ICU.”

“I remember day one. That’s it,” Shawn said.

Shawn, who was heavily sedated, remembered a moment of thinking it could all be over. 

Hospital rules don’t allow guests to visit COVID-19 patients.

“With family not being able to be at their bedside and not being able to be in the room and in contact with them, it’s very important to be able to provide that contact with the nursing staff, physicians,” said Janah Rodriguez, director of critical care and patient services at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Rockwall.

That means that over the past few weeks, the staff at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Rockwall became part of his family.

“What we do we do because we love patients and we want to make a difference and it’s our calling for our whole career,” said Tami Hawkins, VP of patient care services and chief nursing officer.

“I cannot say enough about this staff. They saved my life,” Shawn added.

It’s easy to see why the 49-year-old, who said he has no pre-existing conditions, is emotional. 

He had no idea dozens of hospital workers were waiting for him outside to deliver him a proper sendoff with family members joining in.

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“I was speechless which is pretty rare for me to be speechless,” he said.

His goodbye also served as a few minutes of relief for medical workers, whose work doesn’t stop as they prepare to treat plenty of other COVID-19 patients.

And for family, his hospital departure is a message of keeping faith.

“It was just tears and joy from both of us,” Traci said.

Traci believes she had the coronavirus as well, but said her symptoms weren’t as bad, and she was cleared by doctors after not having a fever for 14 days.

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