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Faces of COVID: Family loses 3 loved ones within 1 month

A man and his elderly parents taken by the virus
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Posted at 7:03 PM, Mar 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-02 19:03:33-05

Thousands of Hoosiers have died since the coronavirus pandemic began in March 2020 and we know — they're more than just numbers. If you've lost a loved one to COVID-19 and want to share their story reach out to us at FacesOfCovid@wrtv.com.

Edward Carney Jr. had a contagious smile.

“He had the best smile ever. People flocked to him. You couldn’t be in a bad mood and be around Eddie,” said his wife, Cheryl Carney.

Cheryl and Edward knew each other for years before they got together, “He was in my dad’s boy scout troop a long time ago,” Cheryl said.

The two lost touch over the years, and then reconnected at church. Cheryl says they took it slow. They started talking, going on bike rides and then spending more and more time together. They dated for 3 years before they were married. The couple would’ve been married for 20 years this year.

Cheryl says Eddie was an amazing husband and a man who was proud of his Christianity.

“He was never afraid to tell people about God and his religion," she said. "He was such a Christian man.”

In his free time he enjoyed working in his garden, raising his children and spending time with his grandchildren. He also loved mushroom hunting and traveling. Edward retired in 2019, and he and Cheryl did a lot of traveling after that.

“Hawaii and Alaska were his favorite,” said Cheryl.

In December, both Cheryl and Edward tested positive for COVID-19. At first, only Cheryl had symptoms but then Edward's symptoms hit hard. She believes he reacted so poorly to the virus because he had asthma. But besides that, he was a relatively healthy 63-year-old.

As Edward's condition became worse, they decided to go to the hospital. He was admitted on Dec. 27. By Jan. 2 he was placed on a ventilator to help him breathe.

“His breathing, he just couldn’t get it under control,” said Cheryl.

Meanwhile, Cheryl learned that her husband’s parents had caught the virus too.

“I chose not to tell him because I didn’t want him to worry about them I wanted him to focus on getting better,” said Cheryl.

Carney’s father died on Jan. 14. His mother died a week later. Then, Edward died on Jan. 31 at 63 years old.

“My family has gone through quite the change and quite the loss within the last month. I’m devastated I lost my spouse and my best friend and my life. He was my whole life. But his sisters and my step daughters, not only did they lose their dad and their brother but they lost their grandparents and their parents,” said Cheryl.

But she’s grateful there were loved ones to welcome him home when he passed away.

“I’m sure he was so shocked and excited to see them when he arrived in heaven that they probably greeted him right there," she said. "He had the knack of cheering people up and make them feel better about life. I think that’s what made people remember him and love him so much. He was just loved by so many people.”