Rose and Jeff Roby were married for 25 years. The couple volunteer tirelessly in support of workers and green progress for the future. Early in the pandemic, Jeff’s primary care suggested he wait on a vaccine due to his heart arythmia. So, the couple stayed home completely socially distanced, working and helping others online until the day Jeff experienced a wound and was taken by paramedics to the hospital in May, 2021. He was treated and subsequently placed in an inpatient nursing care facility where he experienced a lack of care situation. At home, Rose always gave her husband her best. As a former chef, that included delicious healthy meals and caregiving. At the facility, Jeff decided he needed the vaccine now that official recommendations confirmed his ability to receive it. But as an inpatient, the COVID vaccine was unavailable to him. In July, Jeff was transferred to a second hospital, Northside in St. Petersburg, and again requested a COVID vaccine which also was not available to inpatients. Jeff was not well enough to be discharged to go to a vaccination location. Fully vaccinated, Rose was able to safely care for Jeff during most of his hospitalization until the following month when Jeff tested positive for COVID while bedridden in the hospital. Devastated, Rose was no longer able to visit Jeff now in the COVID unit. Jeff’s condition slowly deteriorated and his oxygen mask soon made communication over the phone difficult. An hour after the medical staff decided Jeff needed to be placed on a ventilator, Jeff passed away. Jeff’s message the day before to Rose was, “I’m fine,” not wanting her to worry about him. That’s just the kind of love he had for her.
Now Rose is faced with having little to no income, as her work before and during the pandemic ended and as is often the case in America, Jeff’s medical costs for chronic conditions ate away at the family’s savings. Rose has given so much of herself caring for her husband and so much more helping the condition of working people. We can show solidarity by supporting her in her time of great need so she can make her car, phone, prescriptions, utility and housing payments while she makes final arrangements for Jeff and transitions to living solo, possibly moving, and finding safe work.
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