Edward Hrynkiw loved life and encouraged others to do the same, but when he died on April 2, Joyce, who had been married to Edward for over 60 years, was not allowed to be in the room with him when it took its final breath.
It’s just the emotional price that thousands of people around the world pay for the physical toll extracted by COVID-19.
“It scares me very much and I fear he is alone,” said daughter Bonnie Krall.
Alone and dying.
These are the worst fears of families around the world with loved ones experiencing severe cases of coronavirus, and not what Hrynkiw’s daughter imagined she would face when the 90-year-old moved into the continuing care home. Mckenzie Towne in summer.
In March, a group of COVID-19 cases locked up the facility and ended daily visits to Hrynkiw by his wife, who lives across the street.
“He couldn’t use a phone, he couldn’t use an iPad, he couldn’t have a message in his window or any form of communication,” Krall told CTV News.
The loss of life at Mckenzie Towne’s home has been significant, accounting for almost half of the 50 deaths associated with COVID-19 in Alberta.
Since the outbreak, tougher measures have been put in place in long-term care centers across the province to stop the spread, but cases continue to escalate.
270 residents tested positive for coronavirus in 34 continuing care facilities across the province.
“It is not acceptable that elderly Albertans are endangered in a place where they are supposed to be protected,” said Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Chief Medical Officer of Health for Alberta.
On Friday, the province announced that residents and staff at continuing care facilities that have experienced outbreaks will be tested whether or not they have symptoms.
The changes will not bring back Hrynkiw or his fellow citizens who have died since the start of the pandemic.
This 90-year-old man is remembered as “devoted” and “committed” to his family and his work at the CPR.
Hrynkiw was born on a farm in Manitoba, but moved to Calgary in his twenties.
“He liked the Stampede so much. It was his favorite time of the year, “Krall told CTV News.
She keeps fond memories of her father who prepares breakfast for her and her two sisters.
The family plans to hold a funeral at a later date.
Krall says that at the moment the focus is on the health of her bereaved mother and on the respect of her late father.
“He loved his wife very much, he loved his loved ones and we loved him.”