'I thought he was gone': The harrowing story of a Tacoma nurse who spread Covid-19 to her husband

TACOMA -- Four days after a Tacoma General Hospital nurse started showing symptoms of Covid-19, she watched her husband get carried away in an ambulance. She thought it would be the last time she saw him.

Tammy Edwards went from fighting coronavirus on the front lines to fighting Covid in her own home. She shared a harrowing story about how death had its grip on her husband - whose battle with Covid-19 was far worse than anyone anticipated.

"I don't want anybody to have to go through this," she told Q13 News. "I was absolutely terrified I was going to lose my husband."

Edwards even took a photo of her husband as he was leaving their home in an ambulance, because she "wanted our kids to be able to see what the last picture I had of him in my mind ... because that might have been the last ones we were able to take."

Nine days before that moment, Edwards tested positive for Covid-19. It only took four days after she started showing symptoms for her husband Brian to contract the virus, too.

"He was on the edge of our bed and was like, 'I can’t breathe.' He could barely speak or move, and I called 911 and that’s when they came and they got him," Edwards recalled.

Hours after he was rushed to Tacoma General, Edwards got the call: they were intubating her husband with a ventilator.

"They put the phone to his ear and I told him that I loved him and to be strong and just relax his body and let them do what they need to do and otherwise he’s not going to make it," Edwards said. "And he said I love you and that’s it, they intubated him and he was intubated for 10 days after that."

Edwards couldn't be with her husband while he fought for his life, so the phone became a lifeline. Even if he couldn't respond, she made sure Brian could hear her begging for him to fight.

"I thought he was gone. I prayed, I cried," Edwards says.

Ten days after he was taken to the hospital, Brian had a breakthrough.

Edwards told Q13 that doctors experimented with an antiviral drug used to treat ebola -- called remdesivir.

At the time, it wasn’t an FDA-approved drug for coronavirus patients, but for Brian it was a chance worth taking.

"Right now I have no pain," Brian says. "I am a little fatigued other than that I am doing ok."

Brian has spent more than 20 days in the hospital, the longest he’s ever been without Tammy.

"It has been extremely tough, my wife is my best friend," he says.

They’re not sure how much longer they’ll be a part – but one thing is certain – life after this will be different.

"As soon as I can, I'm going to be donating my plasma to help others," Brian said.

Tammy and Brian hope their nightmare encounter with Covid 19 will wake doubters from their disbelief in the sheer existence of this deadly virus.

"I don’t know how people can say, 'I’m sorry this ain’t real,' because this is 100 percent real. We’re real people, this really happened."