BLUE SPRINGS, Mo. — UPDATE, 3:28 p.m., Sept. 5 | Michael Pratt posted Sunday afternoon that his wife Dawn lost her battle to COVID-19 that morning.
"I was able to hold her hand as she passed into glory to be home with the Lord Jesus Christ," Pratt wrote.
ORIGINAL STORY | Having a loved one in the hospital with COVID-19 can be a long and heartbreaking experience for families. And it's an experience one Blue Springs family knows all too well.
Michael Pratt said his wife, Dawn, currently is hospitalized with COVID-19.
"There's been very many times where I've cried so hard that I've been not functional," he said, "and it's a very hard, hard experience."
The couple's 30th wedding anniversary is approaching. They've had a long and happy marriage, and Pratt said he hopes to renew their vows if his wife beats COVID-19.
While he has friends and family to lean on, Pratt said it's difficult to come home to an empty house.
"Nothing really is the same unless you have your wife with you of 29 years of marriage," Pratt said.
Pratt said his wife is a patient at Saint Luke's East Hospital, where he requested a phone call from a nurse about she's doing at the end of their shift. While Pratt is grateful to the health care workers, he said he hasn't always received information as quickly as he'd like to, leaving him worried about Dawn.
"There's nothing worse than having a wife in the hospital and you can't see her and you don't know what's going on," Pratt said.
However, hospital workers said there is a reason Pratt, and others, might not have constant communication regarding loved ones.
Jessica Lee, site director at Saint Luke's East Hospital, said health care workers are busier than they've ever been during the pandemic.
"We’re working longer hours, we’re seeing more patients, and we just don’t have the capacity to necessarily call family members multiple times a day, sometimes not even every day," Lee said. "Each doctor has about 25% more patients than they typically take care of, and, on top of that, they [the patients] are very sick."
Lee said most of the patients admitted are unvaccinated. She hopes people will talk to their doctor about the vaccine.
"There is so much misinformation in the world, and it’s really easy to fall into that tunnel," Lee said.
Pratt wasn't comfortable speaking about his wife's vaccination status but said it is a choice.
"The fact of the matter is the choice comes with consequences," Pratt said.
Pratt said he's been working with the hospital's patient advocate about his concerns about communication and already feels better. As of Wednesday, he said his wife was improving.
He wants the health care workers taking care of his wife to know he has the utmost respect for them.
"I want them to know that I am greatly appreciative of all that they’re doing," Pratt said.