The coronavirus hit a family not once, but twice. It sent four family members to the hospital and two of them never came home. Now a Hartford mother, who is still recovering from the virus, is sharing her experience and has a message for others.
“Back in April, six of my family members were infected with COVID,” said Andriena Baldwin.
That was the beginning of what’s been a devastating year for the Baldwin family. Andriena Baldwin’s older brother, Christopher, had what they thought was a stomach virus, so as loved ones do, they came together and cared for him. Symptoms led the 52-year-old to the hospital where he tested positive, and the coronavirus soon ripped through the family.
“My two brothers were in the hospital first. Then my dad went to the hospital. At one point, all three of them were intubated and sedated,” said Baldwin. “My mom ended up recovering at home. My oldest brother passed away May 1. My dad passed away four days later.”
Baldwin’s dad, James Baldwin, Sr. was 73 years old. Her other brother spent 98 days in the hospital before being released, and she says he’s still recovering. Baldwin says not being able to be there, to hold their hands, to pray by their bedside, is one of the things that bothers her the most.
“You never really imagine having a sick loved one in the hospital and you can’t say goodbye,” said Baldwin.
But the coronavirus wasn’t done with the Baldwin family. In mid-September, it struck again. Baldwin’s son and two step-kids tested positive and so did she.
“We practiced every safety measure we could, and it still found its way back,” said Baldwin. “What led me to a hospital stay was I coughed up blood, so I ended up having blood clots which was a result of COVID.”
Everyone in her household is recovering, but Baldwin says the week she spent in the hospital was the loneliest of her life, a painful reminder of what her brothers and father went through.
Every one of the 210,000 dead share a similar story, and Baldwin wants people to know the damage it can do to a family.
“You should be afraid of it, and you shouldn't just be afraid for yourself. You should be afraid for what it can do for your family, your kids, your older loved ones, or other people with pre-existing conditions. Because it kind of reveals any and every health issue you've ever had. Once you catch COVID, everything comes to light,” said Baldwin.