When Billy Loredo died from the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) at the age of 45, he left behind a love letter to his wife of over two decades as his final goodbye.
Loredo, who worked as a lawyer in Edinburgh, Texas, died on Dec. 13 at the McAllen Medical Center, according to his obituary published in The Monitor.
His wife of 21 years, Sonya Kypuros, said the attorney spent his final days in the intensive care unit writing a note addressed to her, telling local news station WFAA, "I think he was trying to give me permission to be happy without him."
"That was hard to read," she said of the letter. "But he took care of me and took care of everyone so I'm not surprised he wrote that."
In the note, which Kypuros shared publicly to emphasize the serious toll of coronavirus, Loredo told his wife, "I want you to know that I am fighting very hard every day for my life. I do it for you so that I can see you again."
"You are the most important person in my life and I miss you every day. I know I am not always the perfect man I want to be but I do my best," the message read, according to WFAA. "If I make it through this I promise to be a better man, in God, in life, and as a husband. You have always deserved the best and I get a second chance I will do it."
Loredo also heartbreakingly told his wife in the letter, "If I don't make it I want you to know that I lived a happy wonderful life with you and would never have traded it for all the riches in the world. I also want you to be happy and continue to live your life without me and with no regrets."
"We had our time and it was wonderful. I love you and miss you very much," the note concluded. "I will keep fighting. Love, Billy."
Kypuros told WFAA her husband began exhibiting mild symptoms in November and was having trouble breathing by Thanksgiving.
Loredo was soon hospitalized, but his condition worsened and he eventually needed to be intubated.
"For two weeks he was just trying really hard. He was trying his hardest to not be put on a ventilator," Kypuros recalled, adding that she couldn't be at the hospital in-person when he was put on a ventilator and had to FaceTime him during the procedure.
"I kept telling him that he would be OK, that he would get through this and that he would come back to me," she remembered. "It's just awful that I couldn't be there to hold his hand, and that he was fighting there for his life by himself."
Loredo's family said he was healthy and had no preexisting medical conditions.
"I don't know how this virus chooses or doesn't choose its host to cause the pathological damage that it does," his brother, Pete Loredo, told WFAA. "If it finds the right victim, it is a killing machine."
As of Monday, there have been more than 17,986,700 COVID-19 cases in the United States and at least 318,700 deaths from coronavirus-related illnesses, according to a New York Times database.
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