BRIGHAM CITY, Utah — Thursday, Utah passed a milestone that at the beginning of the pandemic no one could have dreamed of: 1,016 people have officially died of COVID-19.
A thousand names.
A thousand stories.
A thousand lives lost from coronavirus.
One of those thousand was Analiza (Ana) Banez Scholes. Ana died in November in the arms of her husband, David Scholes.
The couple, along with their son, all tested positive for COVID-19. Scholes and his son had mild symptoms; Ana was a little worse, but not bad until the tenth day.
"She was a little bit incoherent, and so I just took her into the emergency room." said David.
Ana's oxygen levels were so low that she was admitted into the Intensive Care Unit, a restricted area where no visitors were allowed.
"That was rough," David says, holding back tears. "I couldn't give her a proper hug or a kiss. Nothing."
After weeks of Ana's condition getting worse, the family felt doctors were giving up. But not David.
"I suggested we put my wife into ketosis after they had given up," says David. "It had improved her oxygen improved her oxygen dramatically."
Unfortunately, David explains, it wasn't enough.
"They couldn't maintain her blood pressure. It crashed. She ended up dying in my arms."
Ana passed away on November 29 at the age of 48.
"She came from a family of 13 kids, and she was the sister that essentially took care and raised everybody's kids," recalls David.
Taking care of others was a passion for Ana as the couple were foster parents to many children over the years.
"She never had kids of her own," says David. "But there's a lot of them that called her 'mom'."
With his wife gone from a virus that has killed millions around the world, David shared his thoughts on the pandemic.
"It's really hitting our minority population, my wife being Filipino. If you get the virus, don't just be careful for a short term. Severe symptoms really didn't hit her until later, and when they did, it happened within hours."