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B.C. family credits video messages with helping grandfather survive COVID-19

Delta family pleads for COVID-19 to be taken more seriously
WATCH: Delta family pleads for COVID-19 to be taken more seriously

Just how important is staying virtually connected during the COVID-19 pandemic? One North Delta, B.C. woman credits it with saving her husband’s life.

Angela White’s husband Jerry was hospitalized with COVID-19 earlier this month. Because of strict isolation rules, none of the family was able to visit him at Surrey Memorial Hospital.

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Lessons from South Korea for fighting COVID-19 pandemic here in B.C.

As the pain got worse, Jerry started sounding increasingly distant in their regular phone calls.

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White put a call out to the family, asking anyone who could to record a message of encouragement.

READ MORE: Keeping up social distancing could pose challenge as coronavirus pandemic wears on

“He’s not that good at being isolated or alone, but if we could get some mini messages to him that would help his spirit to not give up and keep fighting,” she said.

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“I called my daughter and I said I would really appreciate, and I think Grandpa needs to hear his grandson. If you can send a small video to him and let him know his grandson’s thinking about him.”

White’s two-year-old Grandson Rocky recorded a touching message for Jerry, and his grandchildren in Las Vegas started daily FaceTime check-ins.

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The videos made a difference.

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When the couple spoke that night, Jerry told her the messages had pulled him back from the edge.

“He says, ‘You know what, I was ready to call you and say my goodbyes, because it was just too much for me … I got of bed, I fell to the floor and I told them to just leave me here because I am done,'” White said.

“When he called me, he’s like, ‘I’m so grateful I got to see my grandsons, because they were the ones that made me to fight to get out of here.

“‘I’m sorry, I should never have given up, I have way too much to live for.'”

Jerry was discharged from hospital five days later, but he remains at home with COVID-19 symptoms.

White hasn’t shown symptoms, but also remains in isolation as a precaution.

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She says she sympathizes with people who are frustrated by the lockdown, but that easing up too early just isn’t worth the risk.

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“I know we want to see our loved ones, but if they’re the ones who end up getting the worst end of the stick, that’s going to weigh heavily on the people that perhaps gave it to them,” she said.

“Even me, if it opens up, I’m not going to resume back to my everyday life, I’m going to take those extra precautions, because it’s not something you want to see, it isn’t something you want to experience.”

— With files from Catherine Urquhart and Jill Bennett