SEYMOUR — Amanda Arnold described her husband, Paul, as “the best man and father anyone could ever ask for.” Paul Arnold, a father of five, died at just 52 years old from COVID-19.
Initially diagnosed with the virus in February, he developed double COVID pneumonia and fought hard for two long months, spending a month and a half in the hospital.
“He’s been gone since April 14 and it still seems like we are in a nightmare that we just can’t wake up from,” Amanda said.
Minute by minute, it’s a struggle for Arnold and her family.
“He’s gone and now we’ve got to figure out how to move forward in life without him,” she said about her husband. “He was just kind of the glue that held us together. He was the one.”
The doctor called Arnold on her husband’s cell phone, saying his oxygen levels had tanked. He was placed on a ventilator and needed to put on what’s called an ECMO machine.
“They said that he had the worst case of COVID lungs that they had ever seen,” she said. “He was covered from top to bottom.”
Paul Arnold leaves behind five children. They range in age from 15 to 30, with the youngest being just 4 years old.
Prior to COVID, Amanda said Paul was healthy. He worked as a contractor, loved to garden, fish, and adventure.
“He would do anything for anyone,” Arnold said. “If he put his mind to it, he was going to do it. No was not an option in our house. He was just an amazing human being and an amazing husband.”
She said her husband took the virus seriously from the beginning. Always masking up, would never allow his family to go to the grocery store, wiping down the carts and groceries himself when he got home.
“The doctors up there were saying we’ve got 20 years olds coming in and dying, and we’ve got 80 year olds walking out. There’s just no rhyme or reason to this virus."
"If there’s one thing you can do," Arnold urges. "Just because the state mandate for masks is lifted, wear your mask. Have courtesy. It just infuriates me to see people saying that this is a political thing and it’s not real because it is very real. Just because it might not affect your family now, it doesn’t mean it’s not going to affect them in the future.”