Updated: Jul 13
01/02/1944-07/06/2020 "Tribute to my dad", written by his daughter, Rebecca Olar and shared by Carolyn Andrews/Author www.truestoriesofcovid19.com
Shown above, Ioan and his best friend and beautiful wife of 57 years, Maria.
Our COVID-19 nightmare began on June 12th, 2020- when my mom and dad started having low-grade temperatures at around 7 pm or so. Dad was nauseous and started vomiting.
June 13th, 2020-I went to mom and dad’s house to drop off Gatorade and check in on them. Dad was outside watering the yard.
June 14th, 2020-dad called at around 8 pm saying that he and my mom were still having fevers but he refused to let me take them to the ER. I tried to convince both of them to go and my mom said she would only go if my dad went. So as I was headed over there, he called saying that they changed their mind and would just see their PCP on Monday (June 15th, 2020). I told him there was no way his PCP would see them with their symptoms and that he would just refer them to the ER. He insisted and I listened to him.
June 15th, 2020-I called dad at 4 am to check on them and he was sleeping so my mom answered and said they were alright. Shortly after 7 am, my sister called me and said that my dad was in the bathroom and was too weak to stand up. I headed over and called their PCP to cancel their appointment. I told my sister I was taking them to the ER. When I got to the house, my parents did not want to go but I told them I was convinced they had COVID-19. So I drove their mini-van to Banner Thunderbird Medical Center (where my sister met up with us there) and we all wore masks and tried not to speak so that we were not exchanging any germs during the drive. I pulled up to the Emergency Room, and spoke to the staff about their symptoms as both of my parents do not speak English fluently (they both speak Romanian) The nurse came out in her COVID attire to assess them. My mom was able to follow the nurse into the hospital while my dad was in a wheelchair because he was weak and dizzy from all the vomiting. I said goodbye and had to leave since there were no visitors allowed.
Later on June 15th, 2020-I was notified that my mom was being discharged. Results were not in but she ended up back in the hospital the next day and stayed for a week after that until her oxygen levels improved.
June 16th, 2020-I was notified that dad had fallen, he was admitted to the telemetry floor and was on high flow O2 and getting IV fluids. He had a history of sleep apnea, heart failure, and he was CKD (Chronic kidney disease) stage 3 not on dialysis. The nurse told me he was a little confused. I asked them to please get some ABGs to assess his oxygen level but did not hear back. So I texted my friend who was working that day and she went to check on him for me and asked if I wanted to FaceTime. I agreed and she gowned/masked/gloved up and went into his room. This was the last time I saw him speaking and awake. He was able to say hello and goodbye to my boys that he helped raise and considered his own and I could just tell that was going to be the last time they saw each other. While I was talking to him, I could tell he was confused and I could hear the gurgling in his lungs as he was breathing. I begged my friend to alert the doctors and said he needed to have a rapid response called. My gut was telling me that my dad was going to end up in the ICU intubated. Sure enough, while I was on the phone they called the rapid and the team came in. I asked to be taken off of facetime because I didn’t want to witness all of that.
My dad ended up in ICU and was intubated for 21 days. During that time he became fluid overloaded and his kidney went into failure. I consented to dialysis and every day was a roller coaster he would get dialysis or he wouldn’t because his line would clot off secondary to COVID.
We tried steroids, irradiated plasma, we had to stop the antivirals because his kidneys couldn’t handle them. I would call two times a day to get updates and then send those updates to my siblings, his kids (there are 5 of us). Some of the nurses would call into his room and put the phone to his ear so I and my boys could talk to him.
July 6th, 2020 His body went multi-organ failure secondary to COVID. I was able to be at his bedside as they withdrew care, while my mom and siblings were on FaceTime. It was the hardest thing I have ever had to do but I’m so happy he did not die alone. He did not deserve to be alone. He never liked to be alone as he was the 2nd oldest of 11 kids and had 5 kids of his own with 15 grandchildren.
My dad was God-loving and God-fearing. He loved God and people. He was the most honest, caring, selfless, and hardworking man I have ever met, and all those that attended his funeral said the same! There wasn’t a single thing he would not do for even a stranger. He loved my boys and spent almost every day with them. I would come home from work and he would be sitting on a little chair watching them ride their bikes not matter if it was hot or cold outside. If he wasn’t at my house with my boys and me, he was at church greeting everyone that would come in and was known as the man with the keys. He was the only one that had the keys for all the entrances and would be the first to arrive and the last to leave. He loved the pastor as his own and would send money to the needy in different countries but especially Romania where he was born and raised. He was a humble man and was happiest when those around him were happy. His smile was contagious. He is so missed it hurts.
He loved all of us and my mom greatly... He was buried on their 57th wedding anniversary.
“Well done, thou good and faithful servant” Matthew 25:21
Me, mom, Dad, and my/our boys, he treated them as though they were his own. (Boys from oldest to youngest: Graysen, Nolan and Dylan.)
What a handsome young man!
His smile was contagious.....our Tati (we miss him so much that it hurts!)
Beautiful memories of mom and dad, pictured here in Romania.
Dad had a servant's heart and that included serving in the military and taking care of his military buddies in Romania.