‘I love you to the moon and back’: Wife talks about window visits with husband who is battling COVID-19

Husband delayed getting vaccine, now the family is vaccinated.
Published: Sep. 21, 2021 at 1:58 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 21, 2021 at 2:01 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Danika Barrett comes to Princeton Baptist every day for a window visit with her husband, Brian, who is battling COVID-19 and on a ventilator.

Danika and Brian will be married for 22 years in February.

The ICU at Princeton is on the first floor and oftentimes, families write hopeful messages on the window and gather there to visit. You will find Danika at one of those windows at least once every day.

Exposed possibly at work, Brian tested positive for COVID-19 on August 9. Danika found out she was positive about a week later.

Danika said Brian’s symptoms started with a tickle in his throat. After a few days he started to get a fever and then he started to feel worse. Danika said she knew Brian felt bad when he went to the doctor. His oxygen levels started in the mid-80′s, and the doctor sent Brian to the hospital. Brian was in the ER for two days and then moved to the ICU. He was put on a BiPAP machine at first. A couple of days later he called Danika, and made sure everything was taken care of. Danika said Brian didn’t want her to see him being put on a ventilator, so he hugged her and assured her that he was going to be fine.

Danika and Brian’s doctors said he is still critical but they are on Day 4 of what Danika calls positives that continue to add up.

Danika said, “This has been pretty rough.” She said, “He’s the one who always makes sure everyone else is taken care of.”

Brian’s family from Fayette comes to his window about two times a week, and Danika has not missed a day. “I always tell him I’m a little stalker looking in his window.” Danika said it’s been helpful to see him through the window. She also uses a baby monitor to talk to him. She said he is moving his mouth and opening his eyes.

Danika said she and her husband were delaying getting the COVID-19 vaccine, despite her working at a place where they offer the shot.

Danika said they weren’t sure about the vaccine - it was something new. She works in health care and said she has seen both sides. She also felt she was building a little bit of immunity through her job. She said she and her husband were being careful, wearing masks, staying out of crowds, and washing their hands.

At one point Danika said Brian told his doctors, “I hadn’t gotten it, but I wish I had.”

An emotional Danika said she and her family don’t want anyone else to have to go through what they have. She said, “When you have somebody who’s going through that, it changes a lot.” She said she understands people are still on the fence about the vaccine but she said, “I can’t be the reason somebody else has to do this.”

Danika and her daughters are now vaccinated and praying for their husband and father to beat COVID-19 and come home. Danika and her husband have a 21-year-old daughter and a 19-year-old daughter.

Danika said she and her family believe in the power of prayer and she feels it daily. She said, “It has been overwhelming the people who pray for us.”

She also said Brian’s nurses have been ‘amazing.’

She understands why hospitals have window visits. They are the best way to keep loved ones safe, but she said it’s hard. She said her husband is a fighter and she holds on to that.

One of the messages on Brian’s window is “I love you to the moon and back.” That one is from his three girls, Danika and their two daughters.

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