Local widow shares story of losing her husband to COVID-19
Local widow shares story of losing her husband to COVID-19

Local widow shares story of losing her husband to COVID-19

TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) – Ric Hyman was the first person to test positive for COVID in Lucas County. That was in March 2020. He died a few days after the diagnosis. For the first time since then, his widow speaks publicly about the incredible pain of this loss.

Ric and Sue met for a dance at the West Toledo YMCA in high school. The two were married for 47 years.

“We had a great marriage. He was a guy who has no regrets. He was creative and funny. He took risks in a good way.”

Two years ago, Sue heard her husband’s voice for the last time. As you can imagine, the pain of this loss still lives very close to the surface.

“I have had to learn to grieve.”

She has done so with the support of her children, grandchildren, friends, neighbors and her faith.

“When I feel completely lost, that’s what I turn to and ask for strength.”

Ric and Sue had just returned from a trip to Europe. He was not feeling well shortly after returning home. At first they thought it might be jet lag, but quickly realized it was something more. Ric went for a COVID test that week, and that Saturday the test came back positive. He was immediately admitted.

“It started with his lungs, went to his heart and then went to his kidneys, liver and brain. Everything that supplies us was damaged by the virus, and it happened fast.”

Sue was quarantined. She and their family were unable to see Ric. Sue says Ric was in good spirits when she spoke to him on the phone the morning after he was admitted, but that changed quickly.

“Three hours later, he could not breathe. He was put on a respirator, life support and intubated. It felt like lightning had hit me in the head and came out of my feet. ”

While on life support, a nurse held a phone up to Rick’s ear so his family could deliver a message of love.

“Our last conversation was that we told him we loved him and that it was okay for him to go. Our kids told him they wanted to take care of him, and they did.”

Ric died a week after being hospitalized.

“I was numb, just numb.”

Only 8 days later, Sue was diagnosed with COVID.

“I ended up in the hospital and my kids kept saying we can not lose you within a week of losing dad.”

Sue got better, but her heart is still broken. There are reminders of Ric everywhere. And she will help ensure that we never forget all those who have been lost because of this disease.

“I would love to believe that Ric and everyone else who lost their lives to the disease are soldiers in this fight. I would love to see it honored in some way.”

Due to the pandemic, the family was unable to hold a funeral for Ric. They had only a small worship service for the family on his birthday, which was four months after his death.

Ric left behind his wife, two children, four grandchildren and a lot of friends.

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