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'I thought it was a joke' woman urges people to get vaccinated as husband with COVID-19 fights to live

Josh Kunze
Posted at 5:06 PM, Sep 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-17 17:12:02-04

Maresa Kunze says she wishes she could go back and make her husband, Josh, get vaccinated for COVID-19.

Instead, she's pleading for others to take the virus seriously and get vaccinated, as she sits by her husband's side as he fights for his life on a ventilator after being diagnosed with the virus.

"I thought it was a joke...some conspiracy. You know. And obviously, it's not, because my husband is laying right here next to me. I wish that I had prioritized the vaccine," Kunze said.

The couple have been married for 10 years and have five children, ages 4, 6, 7, 9 and 11.

Her message to her husband now, "I love you. I want you to get better. I want you to stay strong. And I want you to come home."

Josh Kunze

Kunze says the last few weeks have been a nightmare, not knowing if Josh will make it through the night.

“My husband might not be here tomorrow. He has his good days and then he has incredibly bad days that are horrific and scary,” she said.

Kunze says her husband first started feeling sick on Aug. 10. He was diagnosed with COVID-19 on Aug. 16.

Less than two weeks later, Josh had to be put on a ventilator.

"He's 30. No preexisting conditions. He doesn't smoke. He doesn't drink. He doesn't do drugs. He plays with his kids every day. He's the kind of guy you'd want your sons to grow up to be or your daughters to grow up and fall in love with," she added.

Kunze describes him as a man who is full of life and full of love for their five children.

The couple is originally from Arizona but had moved to Indiana with their kids. They were hoping to be able to move back home, to Arizona, in December.

Those plans are now on hold.

"I just hold my husband's hand, and that's it. He's on the breathing tube right now. That's what this is, and he's got the NG tube in his nose. The things hooked up to his head right now is to monitor how many times he moves per hour," she said.

She says this treatment is costly, and the stack of medical bills coming their way keeps growing.

"They had him on an ECMO machine for four days and that's about 10 grand a day to run."

Kunze says she's desperately trying to raise enough money to help pay for a lung transplant for Josh, for whatever their private insurance doesn't cover.

Click here, for information on how you can help the Kunze family.