Coronavirus kills Alabama man who refused to leave sick wife’s side, family says

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The novel coronavirus is behind the death of an Alabama man who refused to leave his wife’s side after she contracted the deadly disease. Jimmy Smallwood, 77, knew that staying with his wife of more than 60 years would put him at risk for COVID-19, but insisted on staying with her anyway, his family said. 

Smallwood’s wife, Mary, fell ill with COVID-19 following a family gathering around Christmas that infected more than a dozen relatives, the Anniston Star, a local newspaper, reported. 

Mary, who is continuing to recover at home and still requires supplemental oxygen, told the paper that she misses her husband terribly, but “wouldn’t bring him back here for nothing in the world.” (iStock)

The couple’s daughter, LaDonna, told the paper that her father refused to leave her mother’s side after she tested positive, despite her offer for him to quarantine at her home just several hundred feet away. The man was also encouraged by his doctor to leave his home, as he suffered preexisting medical conditions that could put him more at risk for severe illness. 

Mary, also 77, was hospitalized in January after her oxygen levels had dipped so low that her lips turned purple, said LaDonna. Smallwood was taken to the emergency room days later after he collapsed at home; his oxygen levels had also fallen, dropping to 60%, according to the Anniston Star…

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