Outpouring of support for family struggling in their battle against COVID-19

California Governor Gavin Newsom said Wednesday that the state has more than 9,800 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 215 people have died from the new coronavirus. Governor Newsom said 774 COVID-19 patients are in intensive care units, a 16% increase from the previous day.

Julie Chang, a nurse in Danville, says her husband Jimmy is one of those ICU patients. Julie is a nurse and Jimmy is a nursing manager. They thought they had taken all possible precautions.

Just months ago, they were planning a family vacation with their four children for spring break.

"I thought ok we could fly to New York and do the whole East Coast down to Washington DC, I had all this planned," said Chang. 

Chang says her husband developed a cough. Then, on Sunday March 22nd her husband contacted her at work and said he had developed a fever. She left immediately and says the next day, Jimmy got a test for COVID-19 for health care providers. It came back positive.

“His symptoms got worse. His fever got worse. He was just on Tylenol at that point because Tami-flu didn’t work," said Chang.

The diagnosis was devastating and unexpected. Jimmy is in his mid-40’s. He had no previous health problems and as a nursing manager, he did not have direct contact with patients.

Now, Jimmy is in the ICU at Washington Hospital in Fremont. At one point, Julie says he texted her with two words, "I'm scared."

“He’s in an isolation room with no one there. They’re gowned up in masks and eye goggles and PPE equipment to go into the room and he’s alone with the high-flow oxygen," said Julie.

The family’s heart-ache, shared with their family and friends on social media, has been met with an outpouring of love, prayers and support. 

“The compassion of the people that have reached out. It’s not even just my church community," said Julie, "Some of these people I don’t even know and they’re like sending me gift cards and just wanting to say we’re praying for your family.”

Julie says Friday is their 16th wedding anniversary. She hasn't held his hand or seen him in person since taking him to the hospital last Thursday. Nurses have helped the family connect through phone calls and video.

“I love him and we need him at home and the kids miss him," said Julie. 

"It’s going to be affecting everybody. Someone...one person removed will know someone who will have it," said Julie, "This is definitely the silent war.”

She says she believes her husband has turned a corner. He is still on oxygen, but she says on Wednesday he felt well enough to ask for a tuna sandwich.

She says they are grateful to all the staff treating her husband at Washington Hospital in Fremont.

They also want to thank everyone nurses and doctors across the nation who are on the front lines fighting for their patients.