Nicole Buchanan wasn’t even allowed to say goodbye to her husband.
Three weeks ago, Conrad Buchanan was a healthy, vivacious Florida DJ who loved dancing with his daughter.
But on March 14, the 39-year-old started feeling sick. His wife Nicole tried to get him tested for coronavirus, but was denied.
“We couldn’t get him tested. I fought and fought and fought,” she said.
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“They didn’t want to test him due to his age and (because) he had no underlying health issues.”
By March 22, Conrad’s condition had deteriorated so badly that Nicole drove him to the hospital. The young father was intubated immediately after he was dropped off.
Nicole went to park the car. She never saw her husband again.
“I walked up to the doors. The hospital’s on lockdown. They wouldn’t let anybody in after that,” she said. “I never got to say, ‘I love you.’”
Conrad Buchanan’s death illustrates the harsh reality of Covid-19: No one is immune from this disease, and even young, healthy people can die from it.
“I need everybody to know that this is serious. People think that it’s just going to affect people with underlying health issues, old people. But it doesn’t,” his widow said, weeping.
“And seeing what my husband had to go through was horrible. And now our life has turned into this horrible nightmare.”
Nicole, too, has tested positive for coronavirus. She said her symptoms are not severe, but she has lost her senses of taste and smell.
The couple’s daughter, Skye, is waiting for her test results. She said the loss of her dad is catastrophic.
“We just overall shared everything,” Skye said. “He brought me to school, he brought me to ballet. He was my everything.”
Skye said she misses her dad’s valiant attempts at dancing. Conrad performed with Skye during a father-daughter day at Skye’s ballet school, though he dropped her during a lift.
“It was funny because he could perform in front of like millions of people when he DJ’d, but (when) he danced … it wasn’t the best,” Skye said with a laugh.
Now, Skye is left with just memories of her dad – and an important lesson he taught her:
“Find your rhythm in life. Listen to the beat. Dance and express yourself in order to connect with people from all walks of life,” she said.
A GoFundMe account has been established to help the family.
Nicole Buchanan said she wants everyone to stay home and take precautions so no one else has to suffer what her family has endured.
“You guys have to take this seriously,” she said. “I would hate for anybody – anyone else’s family or children – to have to go through what we’ve gone through. Our hospital systems aren’t ready. Just stay home.”