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Devoted husband holds 'I love you' sign outside wife's ICU window for 10 days as she fights COVID-19

The couple admitted that Donna's experience with COVID-19 led to both of them becoming staunch supporters of the vaccine.

Devoted husband holds 'I love you' sign outside wife's ICU window for 10 days as she fights COVID-19
Cover Image Source: Donna and Gary Crane

Gary Crane wanted to make sure his wife Donna knows she will always have his heart and that she wasn't alone even while battling COVID-19 in an ICU room. So for 10 days, he stood outside her window with a sign that said, "I love you." Speaking to Good Morning America, 56-year-old Donna revealed that she tested positive for COVID-19 just a week after receiving her Johnson & Johnson vaccine. 10 days into her home quarantine, she struggled to breathe. "Gary heard me gurgling at night trying to breathe," Donna said. "He woke me up, got the scuba tanks out of the garage, and was blowing air, trying to get me to breathe that way. That wasn't working and then he was like, 'All right, we're going to the hospital.'"



 

Her oxygen levels were so low when she arrived at the hospital that Donna was immediately admitted and taken to the intensive care unit. "That was the last I saw Gary," she said. "He couldn't go back there with me." Donna was later diagnosed with double pneumonia as a result of COVID-19. "It tore my lungs up," she said. Gary, a lieutenant with Marion County Fire Rescue, remembers his wife's days in the hospital as being "really rough on both of" them.



 

"It was the last I saw her for ten days. That was the hardest part -- just not knowing. I would call the nurses and they could only give me basic stuff like her vitals," said the 61-year-old. To make things easier for his beloved wife, Gary decided to do something special for her. With materials bought from a craft store, he made a sign that read "I love you" and every morning for the ten days that Donna was in the hospital, he stood outside in the parking lot and held the sign up to her window where she could see.



 

"I just wanted her to know I was there," he said. Describing her husband's sweet gesture to CNN, Donna said: "After I went in, we couldn't talk to each other. He told me, 'I want you to look out the window.' The nurses said, 'Oh my God, he has a sign! That's so sweet!' Every day I got the see my baby in the parking lot." Although it took her a moment to notice the sign since she was on the 10th floor, when she did finally see it, she said she "just started bawling."

"My nurses were very sweet but they didn't replace my Gary," said Donna. "Gary coming with a sign every day to tell me he loves me was amazing. He was doing everything in his power to be there." Gary explained that the idea just came to him as he's naturally creative. "I don't know what made me think of it... I just thought of it!" he said. "She's worth it, and I just wanted her to know that I was rooting for her."

Fortunately, Donna recovered, and according to Gary, she came out of the hospital a different person. "This has been a life-changing event for me -- being given this chance is a gift," Donna said. She revealed that her experience with COVID led to both of them becoming staunch supporters of the vaccine despite originally being skeptical about getting the jab. "We came home from work one day and I just said, 'If we take the politics out of this whole COVID thing, why aren't we getting the vaccine? We do all the other shots. Why don't we do this?'" Gary said. "We had no excuse... The doctor said if Donna hadn't been vaccinated that it could've been a lot worse."



 

"I was the most skeptical person about it," Donna said. "I was not for it at all but every chance I get now, I say, 'Get your vaccine.' The most important thing right now to me is getting the word out there to get your vaccine... [The doctor] said the bit of the vaccine that I had in me is what helped me the most."

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