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'Living the nightmare of COVID': Woman loses husband after battle with COVID-19

In the over three decades Jeanne and Troy were married, she had never seen him sick, and she said COVID-19 completely changed him.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — As the fight against COVID-19 continues, many are ready to share their stories to encourage others to take it seriously. 

While some have been fortunate to recover, others have lost everything. 

“This is coming from the person that is living the nightmare of COVID," that is what Jeanne Smart tells News19. She and her husband Troy were married 35 years before he passed away in April. He had been battling COVID-19 since December of 2020.

“I can’t explain the pain of not only myself, but watching my children," Smart said. Troy was put on a ventilator in January, and after seven weeks in the hospital, he miraculously made it back home though weak and on oxygen.

“It has been a difficult journey since December, and it has most definitely been a difficult journey since April," Smart said. 

On April 27, Smart said Troy went to a funeral, got a haircut, did his breathing treatments and while visiting a friend, he suffered a heart attack. “It was taking all they could do to keep his blood pressure and everything up. Wednesday the 28th, which was our grandson’s birthday, they turned off the ventilator, and we said goodbye.”

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Credit: Jeanne Smart
Troy and Jeanne Smart

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In the over three decades she and Troy were married, Smart said she had never seen her husband sick, and COVID19 completely changed him.

She hopes that people now take this deadly virus seriously. “I’m living without my husband," she said. "He didn’t have the chance to get the vaccine at the time that he got COVID, but he was such an advocate for it because he lived through it.”

Troy had the chance to write a few posts about his journey before passing away. In one he says:

“I failed my loved ones, I wasn’t vigilant enough with the mask-wearing and handwashing. I gave COVID to my sweet wife and could have given it to my children and grandchildren if my wife hadn’t suggested we get tested. Can I tell you how serious COVID is? COVID reacts differently on people, for the better part of two months’ time I’ve been bedridden in the hospital, put on a ventilator and a feeding tube for four days, 19 days to come home from rehab, I’m still using oxygen and a walker.”

Smart said she doesn't know the perfect answer but, "I can tell you that you can look and see what the vaccine has decreased." 

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