/Metro Vancouver family urges people to take COVID-19 seriously after healthy father dies | CTV News

Metro Vancouver family urges people to take COVID-19 seriously after healthy father dies | CTV News

A Tsawwassen woman is pleading with the public to take the pandemic seriously, after reeling from her own unimaginable loss due to COVID-19.

Melissa Hance told CTV News that her 46-year-old husband Reid was healthy, active and had no underlying health conditions when he suddenly died at home days after contracting the coronavirus in early April.

Hance says she wants people to understand that COVID-19 can quickly turn deadly, even if someone is young and healthy.

The entire family contracted COVID after a possible exposure at their kids’ sport camp during spring break.

Hance said the family followed all protocols outlined by public health officials.

“We did everything safely, wore masks,” she said.

At first, Hance and her two boys Liam and Luke tested positive with mild symptoms and Reid tested negative. But a few days later, Reid developed a heavy cough and also tested positive.

“Within 24 to 48 hours, his symptoms just worsened and they were so severe,” Hance said. “Nothing like myself and my children.”

They immediately called HealthLink BC to get some answers.

“She asks, ‘Do you feel that your symptoms are warranting medical attention?’ He says, ‘No my chest is fine,'” said Hance, recalling the conversation.

But on April 14, Reid died on the couch in his sleep.

“I come downstairs, getting ready for my exercise class and I see him, he’s lying down, blanket pulled up to his chest and he’s just so peaceful. I thought, ‘Thank goodness, he got some sleep last night,’” Hance said.

“It wasn’t until I went over and I put my hand on his arm and said good morning and he was ice cold, and I’m trying to shake him and I’m like, ‘Reid, wake up.'”

Hance says the hardest part was telling her kids.

“My almost-11-year-old collapsed down to the ground in tears,” she said.

Hance says the disease attacked her husband’s healthy lungs overnight and he died of bilateral pneumonia, as a result of COVID-19.

“Everybody needs to take this seriously,” she said. “My loss, I hope, is for everyone else’s gain, for a kind of awareness that this does not happen to you because I do not wish this on anybody.”

She describes Reid as an honest and genuine man, who would drop everything to help someone in need.

Hance says he was also her biggest supporter and absolutely loved being a dad.

“That was his end all, be all,” she said. “That was what he was born to do.”

Hance says she is grateful for Reid’s greatest legacy, and together with Liam and Luke will cherish the memories of a fantastic father and husband whose life was tragically cut short.

With files from CTV’s Jason Pires