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MSNBC’s Alex Witt holds back tears as wife of critically ill COVID-19 patient describes his swift decline

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On MSNBC Saturday, Alex Witt interviewed Amy Breslow, a New Jersey woman whose husband Brett is critically ill in ICU with coronavirus and in need of plasma. As Witt listened, she grew visibly shaken.

“At what point did you know your husband needed to go to the hospital?” asked Witt. “Was it something that you saw slowly and then took a harsh turn? Tell me what happened there.”

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“He told me two weeks ago that he was not feeling well,” said Breslow. “He started with a fever on the 16th, chills, fatigue. The 17th, I took him to urgent care. They tested him for regular flu, which was negative. They did not have any coronavirus tests available at the urgent care. There were no kits, so they examined him, his lungs, his vital signs, everything was stable. They gave him your typical, rest, fluids, take Tylenol, Motrin. Wednesday, his fever seemed to break, Thursday the fever came back.”

“At that time we received an e-mail from our family physician … that they were opening a drive-thru COVID testing site near our home,” she continued. “Friday morning, the 20th, we called and set up an appointment for him to be tested at 2:00 that afternoon. His shortness of breath and fatigue and everything else continued and I took him and asked the nurse when she did the nasal swab, what should we do if this worsens? She told us to contact our doctor and potentially he would need to go to the emergency room in it if it became severe.”

“By 9:00 that evening, he was not in good shape,” she continued. “I called our doctor, they instructed us to go to the ER, which I did. I took him there. He had to walk in alone. They would not let me go in with him, and I watched through the window, that they took his information and put him in a wheelchair and took him back, and I went back to my car to wait. I texted him to let him know I was there, and to, you know, keep me posted about what was happening. He texted me and told me that they took him back to a room, to go home, and that he loved me. That was the last time i communicated with him. I haven’t seen him since.”

“It was about an hour and a half of him being in the emergency room,” she continued, beginning to lose her composure. “The emergency room doctor called me and told me he was critical, he had double pneumonia in both of his lungs, and they had to in intubate him. He’s only 50 years old, a healthy guy. This should not have happened. If I had better information previously and not just thought, oh, this is only going to attack the elderly in such a severe way or people who have underlying medical conditions, I would have taken him to the ER on Thursday. I don’t know how much it would have done, but, you know, hindsight is 20/20. I want to get this information out to the public so people of all ages take this seriously, and they’re looking for, you know, the signs.”

“Amy, I’m so grateful to you for sharing your story, as hard as it is to hear, you’ve got to say,” croaked Witt, struggling to keep her own voice steady. “But this is something that’s happening all across the country. Maybe this plasma will be some sort of life-saving avenue for people. In the meantime, holding out the very best for you and Brett. We’ll say a bunch of prayers for him and for you. Stay strong.”

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