KEY POINTS

  • A Connecticut woman mourned the death of her 32-year-old husband after his lengthy battle with COVID-19
  • Katie Coehlo discovered a note her husband had written to her and their children before he died on his phone 
  • Jon Coelho had no pre-existing conditions before he passed away, leaving his wife and two children behind

Before a 32-year-old Connecticut man died after a month spent battling COVID-19, he knew he had to leave words of hope and encouragement for his wife and children. 

Wife Katie Coelho, 33, had been going through her husband Jon's belongings following his death, when she found his phone. She planned on originally sifting through the device for photos of him with his family to save, but when she turned it on she found something rather unexpected: a final note from Jon

"I love you guys with all my heart and you’ve given me the best life I could have ever asked for," Coelho had written on his iPhone's Notes app. "I am so lucky it makes me so proud to be your husband and the father to Braedyn and Penny." Katie was shocked to find the letter, which she told BuzzFeed News on the day of the death that he had had to have written the note weeks ahead of his passing. 

"Katie you are the most beautiful caring nurturing person I’ve ever met," the message continued. "You are truly one of a kind...make sure you live life with happiness and that same passion that made me fall in love with you. Seeing you be the best mom to the kids is the greatest thing I’ve ever experienced." By the end of the note, Jon was encouraging Katie to find love again and not to "hold back" if she meets someone. 

Jon is survived by Katie and the pair's children: 2.5-year-old Braedyn and 10-month-old Penelope. Their household was unfortunately an at-risk one, as Braedyn had been born with neurological issues at birth, given just six weeks to live. Katie had cared for Braedyn while Jon worked at a courthouse nearby to make ends meet. Now, Katie is Braedyn's sole carer and provider. 

Because of Braedyn's condition, the family had taken every precaution possible to keep their household from being infected by the novel coronavirus. Jon, according to Katie, wore masks and gloves and washed his hands as often as possible. However, he discovered March 24, he had come into contact with a coronavirus carrier. After being tested, Jon went straight into self-isolation at home before his condition quickly worsened. 

Now that Jon has passed away and Katie has been left to care for her family on her own, a GoFundMe has been set up to help support them. Katie, however, feels finding the letter was bittersweet. 

"I’m so thankful I found the note, but the other part of me is so sad," she said of her find. "Because I know how scared he was and where his mind must’ve been to think he had to write something like that."

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