SC woman says goodbye to father over the phone before his passing from COVID-19 complications

(Source: WMBF News)
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HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) - Nancy Hopkins said goodbye to her father Robert McCord on April 1 after he battled the novel coronavirus for weeks.

“Monday, March 16, my usual routine was: get him out of the house, make sure he was fed. He lived by himself. I noticed he had some cold-like symptoms, runny nose," Hopkins said.

She said over the next two days, he got sicker.

“His breathing was a little bit different, a little bit labored,” she said. “It was 6 clock until I got to him, and by then he was in respiratory distress.”

At that point, Hopkins called an ambulance.

“I really wish I had just said, ‘Daddy we’re going to the ER Monday night,’” she said.

Hopkins said in the moment, she had no idea seeing her father like this would be their last memory together.

“He was rolled out and put into the ambulance, that was it. I didn’t see him at the hospital. I was still parking my car when he was rolled into the ER. I didn’t get to say, I just assumed I was going into the ER,” she said. “My last image of him was actually being put into the ambulance.”

Within a few days, Hopkins tested positive for coronavirus. She said other than feeling tired and having headaches, she didn’t even think she was sick.

After a few weeks in the hospital, Hopkins said her dad never got better.

“I think my dad always was afraid that he might die by himself,” she said, noting that her mother died a few years back.

Hopkins said after she got a call from a doctor saying he wouldn’t make it, she got another call from a nurse.

“She asked if I would like to say goodbye over the phone, and I said, ‘Oh absolutely, I would love to do that,’ so she held the phone up to his ear,” she said.

Hopkins never imagined ever having to say goodbye like this, and she doesn’t want anyone else to have to endure it either.

“It amazes me. I live on a fairly busy road, and I see people riding up and down the road all the time. I mean head that warning. Stay inside.”

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