After the death of his wife, Petrolia, Ont. Resident Warns Others to Take COVID-19 More Seriously

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Petrolia, Ont. Joe Agocs, a resident, remembers his wife Lynda Agocs as an incredibly strong knitter, a hockey enthusiast and someone who was always looking for an excuse to invite a business to try a whole new kitchen. More than that, Joe, 71, says that Lynda believed in her community.

He remembers a story before they moved to their co-operative condo in 1997. At the time, the building had very little money. Missing an opportunity to get involved, Lynda is hired as treasurer to help manage the finances of the building.

“After a few years, they realized that things were improving a little financially … and they were going to give Lynda a raise,” said Joe.

When faced with the possibility of getting higher payment for the work she did, Lynda responded characteristically.

“Lynda said, ‘If you give me a raise, I will resign,'” says Joe. “She knew the money was tight, but it was better … She didn’t want it. ”

Lynda Agocs died of COVID-19 shortly after 11:30 p.m. on Sunday, April 5 – just over two weeks after asking Joe to take her to hospital because she was having trouble breathing.

According to Joe – who was not admitted to the hospital due to coronavirus safety measures – the doctors at Petrolia initially diagnosed pneumonia in Lynda.

“Later that evening, the hospital called me and said that they were going to have to transport Lynda to Sarnia intensive care … because Lynda was unable to get enough oxygen,” did he declare.

Most people here follow the rules …– Joe Agocs

In Sarnia, Lynda was sedated and placed on a ventilator. A few days later, the doctors confirmed that Lynda had contracted COVID-19.

Even though she was in the intensive care unit, Joe said health workers noted that Lynda’s condition was improving day by day.

“They actually put the ventilator at the point where she would start to breathe,” he said. “The fan was just doing a little support, rather than the other way around. “

The damage to Lynda’s muscles and kidneys caused by COVID-19, however, meant that she would soon be on dialysis.

“She couldn’t move her arms, she couldn’t move her hands, all she could do was just move her head slightly from side to side,” said Joe.

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But while Lynda was in the hospital, Joe said he started to experience mild symptoms of COVID-19 himself.

“I was running a medium to high temperature [30s] “, he said. I wanted to sleep all the time, I slept for the first five days or so, something like 18 hours a day or more. I had absolutely no appetite. ”

He said that a doctor he spoke with while Lynda was in the hospital was “99.9% sure” that he had COVID-19.

As the days went by, however, his condition improved, his temperature returned to normal and he slowly regained his appetite.

“Maybe it was just the regular flu, I have no idea,” he said. “But it would be a coincidence if I have these very mild symptoms at the same time as my wife had COVID-19. “

There are some in our community … I think they don’t see it as bad as it is.– Joe Agocs

And it wasn’t just Joe, Lynda’s condition continued to improve steadily while she was in the hospital. The medical staff even told Joe that Lynda’s lungs were recovering to the point that the staff wanted to remove the ventilator and the dialysis machine to see how she would react.

On the afternoon of April 4, however, Lynda’s blood pressure dropped.

“There was absolutely nothing they could do,” said Joe. “They put the phone next to his ear and I said my last goodbyes to him. “

“Then I got a call [on the night of April 5] … Indicating that Lynda had died. ”

Having attended his wife’s trip with the coronavirus, Joe now wants others to take COVID-19 more seriously.

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“Most people here follow the rules of social isolation and wash their hands and do things like that,” he said. “But there are some in our community and everywhere – I feel that they don’t see it as serious as it is. “

For Joe, it’s not enough.

“The point is, you could have it, feel nothing, but you could pass it on to someone else,” he said. “And this person, like my wife, caught it and eventually died. “

Since then, Joe has received the green light from public health officials to visit the community.

“I didn’t want to go out if there was a possibility that I was wearing anything, because I didn’t want to inadvertently infect someone. “

Lynda Agocs was 69 years old. She would have celebrated her 70th birthday in August.

Joe and Lynda raised three children together and had six grandchildren whom Lynda “just adored”.

As of Wednesday morning, Sarnia-Lambton had recorded 87 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and eight deaths. Five people recovered.

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