‘I thought I had a lifetime’: Wife watches husband’s decline from COVID-19 via FaceTime

Published: Jan. 13, 2021 at 5:53 AM EST
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SURPRISE, Ariz. (KPNX) - The coronavirus has left one Arizona family feeling helpless, only able to watch on FaceTime as a 42-year-old father of three declines in the intensive care unit. He is on a ventilator and needs a lung transplant but isn’t stable enough for the procedure.

Monique Horbaczewski sees her future fading away as her husband, 42-year-old Bob Horbaczewski, teeters on the verge of death from COVID-19.

“I thought I had a lifetime of hugs and love and smiles and kisses,” Monique Horbaczewski said. “The last person I ever thought this would happen to is my husband, is Bob. He is an ox.”

The pain of being healthy and unable to see Bob Horbaczewski in person is weighing heavily on...
The pain of being healthy and unable to see Bob Horbaczewski in person is weighing heavily on his wife, Monique Horbaczewski, and his three kids.(Source: Monique Horbaczewski, KPNX via CNN)

A father of three, Bob Horbaczewski was fit with no underlying conditions before he and his whole family contracted the virus in mid-December. Everyone else recovered, but Bob Horbaczewski is still in its grip, relying on a ventilator since Christmas Day.

“The ICU doctor told me that there’s very little to hope and a lot that can go wrong,” Monique Horbaczewski said. “I feel like his status changes every hour.”

She can’t be in the room with her husband but can see him over FaceTime. She puts on a brave face, even though he’s too sick to talk back.

“I promised him that if he keeps fighting and pulls through, I will never take another kiss or another hug, even another fight, for granted,” Monique Horbaczewski said.

The pain of being healthy on the outside is weighing heavily on her.

“I feel helpless. I feel like I can’t help him,” she said. “I wish it was me. He’s the stronger parent. Our family would have been better off it had been me.”

It’s been tough on their kids, too, facing uncertainty for weeks. The two older children are teenagers, while the youngest is just 5 years old.

“Everybody keeps telling me to be positive, which is great. I get positivity is a great thing, but I’m also trying to be realistic,” Monique Horbaczewski said.

Doctors say Bob Horbaczewski will need a lung transplant to live, but he needs to be more stable for surgery. His wife is also working to find insurance that will cover the procedure.

“I don’t know if he’s going to make it,” Monique Horbaczewski said.

Scottsdale Shea Medical Center, the hospital where Bob Horbaczewski is being treated, is significant to the family. It’s where the couple met, where he proposed and where his mom currently works as a nurse.

A GoFundMe set up for the family has raised more than $23,000.

Copyright 2021 KPNX via CNN Newsource. All rights reserved.