Husband Denied From Caring for Terminally Ill Wife Due to COVID-19 Hospital Restrictions
By Kimberly Nguyen
April 7, 2020
Corey Huh has been unable to see his wife, who was diagnosed with carcinosarcoma, late last week due to new hospital policies amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
He was told by a doctor at MountainView Hospital in Las Vegas that his wife won’t recover and that she might go into a coma.
Adriana, 30, was admitted to MountainView after experiencing breathing problems and nodules forming in her lungs following a miscarriage in March, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
She had been previously diagnosed with fibroids at a women’s clinic and suffered intense pain up until her diagnosis of uterine carcinosarcoma following the removal of her uterus and seven bags of blood transfusions.
“We took her to the ER on March 30, where they had to admit her. They thought she had pneumonia and that was the reason why she was having a hard time breathing,” Huh said. “But it ended up being a combination of the tumors and pneumonia. The tumors had spread all over lungs from her uterus. At this point, it became Stage 4 cancer”
He has not seen her since Thursday afternoon when he was finally allowed to see his wife for an hour.
Huh was able to visit his wife, but he had to wear personal protective equipment (PPE) to see her. He had to stay six feet away from his wife, and was unable to give her any kind of physical comfort as they shared the room with a large air filter, he described.
“She was struggling to breathe. My heart felt like it was broken into a million pieces,” Huh said. “There was my wife, right in front of me struggling and I couldn’t do anything. I couldn’t comfort her. I couldn’t hug her. I tried so hard not to lose it and cry like I have done ever since she was admitted.”
The hospital has taken restrictive measures to “better ensure the safety of our patients, physicians, employees and visitors,” a spokeswoman wrote in an email to the Review-Journal. The only exceptions to the rule are if a patient is a pediatric patient, a patient in labor or a patient approaching “end of life status.”
Adriana’s friends or family were not present when she was told on Monday night that she had terminal cancer, Gayla Boyd, the pastor at couple’s church told the Review-Journal.
“Last week was rough, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, I was not able to see her,” Huh said. “She was progressively getting worse. Getting bad news after bad news by herself. Her breathing got so bad, they had to put this mask on her.”
Huh told NextShark about the first time he met his wife at a church function and later tied the knot in October 2016.
“I thought she was beautiful. She had a very nice smile that could light up the room,” Huh said of Adriana. “She has a very heartwarming and contagious laugh. Just over the course of a few months, we connected and just became best friends. We did everything together and I thought to myself, I can see myself spending the rest of my life with her.”
Last Wednesday night, friends and family had gathered outside MountainView with signs offering support as they FaceTimed her, but Adriana was too ill to go to the window. While she was unable to talk at the time, she was receiving oxygen and the couple has been texting each other often.
Now, Adriana is able to breathe better and can speak full sentences, Huh said. Her appetite is coming back, and she only needs to use a respirator at night to sleep.
Huh said that he was given a slew of information from the medical staff, but was still not allowed to see her as she was given this same information on her own.
“They told her that she has terminal cancer and that there was no cure. They told her that because her heart rate was elevated, they anticipate that she will fall into a coma, and possibly not wake up,” Huh said. “They told her that she couldn’t receive chemo without the COVID-19 results, while her breathing got worse. They talked about intubating her. Her oncologist decided to do the chemo Thursday regardless. They told her that the chemo could have adverse reaction, and she could die. Or it could go really well.”
Huh shared how much hurt and pain others who are not able to see their loved ones due to preventative measures taken by hospitals during the COVID-19 pandemic must be feeling. He encouraged relatives to make videos to tell them how much they are loved.
Every day at 3 p.m., Adriana’s friends and family have come out to stand on the sidewalk near the hospital to pray for her.
“My hour with her felt like the fog of your breath on a cold winter morning,” Huh said. “Disappearing as quickly as it had formed. It wasn’t enough time. But yet, it was the perfect birthday present I could have received. Seeing my wife.”
All images courtesy of Corey Huh
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