PENDLETON — A Pendleton woman who became a widow at the age of 31 wants people to know COVID-19 is impacting young people.
Brianna Berry’s husband Lewis died on April 6 at IU Health North after nearly a week in the hospital.
He was 37 years old.
Lewis and Brianna met in 2016 and got married in November 2018— the Pendleton couple had hopes and dreams of a long life together.
"He was a very honorable man and was so giving and kind hearted,” said Brianna. “He cared more about my well being than his own. He was so full of life, and there was no one like him.”
Both Brianna and Lewis had asthma, and so they took a lot of precautions amid COVID-19.
“He wasn’t around people. He was using hand sanitizer, washing his hands, staying away from people,” said Brianna. “We were Cloroxing our bags before other people were doing it. We were doing all these things.”
But Lewis got sick anyway, and developed a cough the weekend of March 28-29.
"He had a fever of 105, and that's when I took him to the hospital," said Brianna.
Brianna expected her husband to survive—he was a former HSE football lineman and physically strong.
Lewis was overweight and had asthma, but otherwise healthy.
Despite doctors best efforts, he died at the age of 37— one of the more than 500 Hoosiers who have died as a result of COVID-19.
The last time Brianna had a conversation with Lewis was on FaceTime before he was put on a ventilator.
“He said I was the best thing to ever happen to him,” said Brianna. “ He said the years, even though they were short, were the happiest of his life."
She wants others to know COVID-19 impacts young people.
"It is not just the old, frail and the sick,” said Brianna. “He was always such a strong person, and persevered in this life."
Brianna believes it’s way too soon to talk about lifting the stay at home order and reopening businesses.
"I think that would be a grave decision,” said Brianna. “I think if that happens, a lot of people are going to die. I am terrified for my own family."
Brianna isn’t sure where her husband got COVID-19, but says she’s been self-isolating as a precaution.
She suspects she had COVID-19 but was unable to get tested because her symptoms were too mild.
She’s urging everyone to stay home.
"I just want people to stop thinking this is not real, because I don't want to lose anyone else I love,” said Brianna.
IU Health released the following statement:
“The loss of life to COVID-19 in our communities over the past few weeks is tragic. Our hearts go out to the families and loves ones of anyone impacted by this terrible disease.”