APEX, N.C. (WTVD) -- Health officials release new numbers of positive COVID-19 patients every day, and behind every number there is a name and a family praying for recovery.
In Apex, John Bartholomew is stuck at home while his wife, Kathy, is on a ventilator in intensive care after testing positive for the new coronavirus.
"I just miss hugging her," John said. "When they took her to the ER, I didn't even get to say goodbye."
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Kathy Bartholomew, 62, had not traveled nor had she knowingly been in contact with someone who had COVID-19. In fact, her exposure is a complete mystery to her family.
"Her friend came down with it on Thursday and Kathy came down with it on Friday, so there's a chance her and her friend - both positive - were in the same place at the same time," John said. "But her friend is doing well and no longer has a fever."
According to her husband, Kathy's first symptoms were a cough and fever. She has had some lung issues in the past but nothing major.
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Doctors expect Kathy to be in the ICU for at least another week.
"I think the biggest message is this virus is in Apex, North Carolina. This isn't New York, this isn't New Jersey, this isn't L.A. It's right here in our backyard and everybody needs to understand that until we get the green light, pay attention to what we're being told."
'I just miss hugging her': Apex man stuck at home while wife is in ICU with coronavirus