'This is serious. This is real': North Texas man now battling COVID-19 and fighting for his life

A respiratory therapist said she hasn't been back to work in a month.

That's because she, her daughter, her mother, and her husband all tested positive for COVID-19.

Her husband's case is so severe, a machine is breathing for him, and his organs are failing.

Margaret and Matt Bell love to travel.

In fact, the couple was supposed to be in Iceland, celebrating their 21st wedding anniversary in April.

COVID-19 travel bans canceled that vacation, but their biggest concern turned out to be that on April 15, Matt tested positive for the coronavirus.

He was in a Fort Worth ER the next day, the ICU following day, and the morning after that, he was intubated.


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“He was terrified. He was really trying to stay strong,” Margaret recalled. “He really wanted to come home.”

The 41-year old’s wife said he is still intubated and fighting for his life. She said he’s dealing with liver failure, rapid and irregular heartbeats, and fluctuating fevers.

“When you’re married to someone for 21 years, there’s always bumps in the road,” Margaret added.

But this is a road she never thought they’d have to travel.

“I take it day by day. Some days, I’m OK, other days I’ve caught myself just staring at a wall and lost. It’s been one heck of a roller coaster. The hardest part is not being there with him,” she added.

Margaret was quarantined with a presumptive positive case of COVID-19, and works as a respiratory therapist in an NICU.

She said that when she was working before their scheduled vacation in early April, it was scary in the hospital because everything was so new.

“This is probably the scariest thing we’ve had to deal with,” she said.

The couple’s daughter and Margaret’s mother have both tested posted for the virus.

“It’s affected each one of us differently,” she said.

But no one in the family has been hit as hard as her husband.

“This is serious. This is real,” Margaret added.

On the day that many businesses are returning to operations, with social distancing measures in place, Margaret said she wants those who choose to go out, to do so wisely, and to also think of the ones fighting to survive.

“Think of yourself but think of your loved ones and your family,” she said. “Everybody has to do it together.”

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