Updated: Jul 13
Jennifer Jensen, shown with her husband Peter Jensen, on their wedding day in 1990.
JENSEN FAMILY TRIBUTE: Written by Jennifer, Peter's wife and best friend of 36 years and their 3 sons, Mitchell- 27, Nathan -24, and Noah- 22: (pictured here with fur-buddies, Betty, Hazel, Tempe, and Olive)
My name is Jennifer Jensen and on behalf of my son's and I, I wanted to tell my husband's story. We want to pay tribute to the man who meant the most to all of us. He was my husband, my best friend, my companion in life; their mentor, their coach, the person that they looked up to the most: their DAD.
A TRIBUTE TO PETER:
Peter's COVID-19 story began on June 30th in Delray Beach, Florida where we reside. My husband, a 56-year-old Commercial Broker, came home one day complaining about the pinched nerve in his neck. (It had bothered him for a while, but it had never caused THIS MUCH PAIN. ) I was actually feeling ill as well and was especially fatigued with a headache. We decided that I should go to the doctor to get checked out, and I turned out to have an ear nose, and throat infection. When the doctor heard that we were both feeling bad, he suggested we both go for a COVID-19 test. I tested negative, but Peter was POSITIVE.
He quarantined in our house, in a separate room from me, and planned to stay in quarantine for the 2-week time-frame, or until he was symptom-free. A few days into quarantine, he developed a fever and when he moved about, he would become breathless. He checked his oxygen levels regularly on his pulse-oximeter, and he maintained in the ’90s but increasingly felt more ill as the days progressed. Around July 16th, while resting, I remember him calling out to me to "call an ambulance". His oxygen levels had dropped to 77. (Normal is typically 95 and above)
The ambulance took him to the local hospital, alone, where he was admitted. He sent me a text saying he thought he was fine and would not need a ventilator. They began to treat him with convalescent plasma (2x). He was also on Remdesivir, diuretics, steroids, antibiotics, and blood thinners (due to his D-Dimer levels being elevated. )
Early the next morning a nurse called me and explained his breathing was far too labored and that my husband had agreed to go on a ventilator. He was at the hospital ventilated for approximately four and a half weeks and was kept deeply sedated and medically paralyzed. The times that they would pull him from sedation, he became frightened and his blood pressure would soar causing him to fight back against the ventilator. (They would have to continue to put him in a medically induced coma, for his own protection and healing) I repeatedly requested a tracheal tube to ease his comfort. Finally, at four weeks he was given one and a feeding tube to help bolster his strength.
On August 27th, he FaceTimed me at 12:45 am in the morning, and on his whiteboard had written, “infection" I called the charge Nurse, who said he had a 102-degree fever and was working on lowering it, at 3:45 am she called to say he was moved to ICU. He had become septic and his body was so weakened that he couldn’t fight the sepsis. All his organs were in perfect health, but his blood pressure lowered and lowered until they had to perform CPR. The nurse had called me telling me that they had successfully revived him and that he was being transferred, but about 1 hour 30 minutes later, she called back to say that "he did not survive the transfer and, he didn't make it". She told me that we could now come and see him. I will never forget that moment of seeing my husband; he was down 60 pounds, with a full beard and almost unrecognizable... this final moment with him is burned into my memory.
How and where do you begin to describe a man who had a love so deep for his wife, his sons, and life? A permanent smile on his face, a positive outlook a helping hand for all, and a friend to everybody. Peter independently worked his way through school and on his own since 18 years old. We met when he was 19 and I was 16. He built his own business from scratch. He worked tirelessly to create a successful business with an honest reputation and to lead by example to his sons.
Growing up in a broken home it was his mission in life to show his children and wife that they were deeply loved daily and felt supported in whatever they did… his family would never question if they were loved or worthy. They were adored, every second of every day by a doting father. One who never missed a game coached several teams, and never missed a school event. As for me, he ensured that I followed my dreams and through thick and thin, better/worse, healthy/ill, he was my advocate, best friend, soul mate, co-conspirator, and love of my life. Yes, we had our ups and downs but that’s what made us special… we worked through it all and always came out stronger until this ugly catastrophe.
"We live in Florida which has the 5th highest death rate in the country, but now we are opening our State, to phase THREE!!! Money-making seems more important than the health and safety of others; as the Super Bowl is coming to town. The Governor has closed his mansion to tours but has opened his state to mayhem. I am both disgusted and confused at going to phase three, yet the Governor finds the need to protect his wife and three children. What about my husband's wife and three children? "
It was so unfair that a man who loved life, experienced life without fear (flew planes, drove motorcycles, was an advanced scuba diver, drove boats, was an avid fisherman, jet skier, was an expert-level snow skier, and had a love of fast cars) had to die alone in fear and without the ones who loved him the most. The cruelest end to the kindest of men.
"Peter, I miss you yesterday, today, tomorrow, and every second in between. Thank you, my love, for the endless love and dream life you provided… Always remembered and cherished. Never forgotten." -
The love of my life, my best friend! I will miss you/us always...
You created a beautiful, fun-filled life for us that I will cherish forever!
Your boys miss you more than you will ever know!