Woman mourns grandfather’s loss to COVID

Published: Aug. 9, 2021 at 7:26 PM EDT
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HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) - It’s been one of the longest weeks of Morgan Ruley’s life.

“So, last Monday, I was actually quarantined because I had just been exposed to my grandfather,” Ruley said.

She did not know it would be the last time she saw her grandfather Dalton Lewis when she took him to St. Mary’s Medical Center, but on Monday doctors discovered he had COVID.

“Just a couple days prior we were having dinner with him at Fat Patty’s. He said he wasn’t feeling the greatest, but that was not abnormal for him. He had a kidney transplant 12 years ago, so some days he just doesn’t feel that well,” Ruley said.

She could not visit him, but she called everyday and Morgan said loneliness gripped him.

“He did call me one morning crying. He was so upset because he was so lonely,” Ruley said.

She said she and her family are vaccinated, including her grandfather Dalton, but with the transplant his immune system was compromised.

Things turned for the worse and her grandfather was moved into the St. Mary’s ICU Wednesday where he was placed on a ventilator with a 99% percent chance he would not come off of it.

Saturday, Ruley and her family, huddled around a phone, said their last goodbyes.

She hopes her loss and heartbreak will moves others to act.

“He wasn’t strong enough to fight it off, so I just feel that at the very least we should get vaccinated to help people that can’t really help themselves,” she said.

At 82, Ruley said her grandfather was still planning fishing trips and golf outings with his friends.

“Honestly, we are still kind of in shock. We knew it was real. I work in a health care facility; my husband does,’ she said. We all knew it was real, but once it hits so close to home you don’t realize the effect it has until it happens to you.”

She said it comes as a reminder that stopping the spread could save a life so someone else may not feel the same heartbreak of losing someone so close.

“I wish I had that opportunity. I would probably just tell him I loved him, sit with him and listen to his stories. Again, he loved to tell stories,” she said.

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