GRAND JUNCTION, Colo (KREX) — “Our last trip was through the Panama Canal, and it was really on my husband’s bucket list, and it was an eighteen-day cruise and we arrived back to the United States on the third of January and that was to become our last trip,” says Catherine Montgomery, Tom’s widow.
COVID-19 was in its earliest stages when Tom and Catherine Montgomery arrived back in the United States.
The fear of the virus spreading quickly prompted the Montgomery’s to shelter in place in Omaha with Catherine’s brother and sister in law, until they felt safe enough to go back home, to Grand Junction.
Montgomery also says, “we decided to come back here and the numbers continued to be pretty good in Mesa County, but as they got higher and higher, we became more careful again, we didn’t have the vaccine option.”
Without a vaccine, protection was limited to masks and social distancing.
Then, in November 2020, things changed quickly. Tom got COVID-19.
Montgomery added, “Tom first came down with COVID, he was running a very high fever, it was a high as 106. He became dehydrated, so they put him in the hospital.”
Hospital protocols at the time prevented Catherine from being at Tom’s side.
Tom returned home a few days later, but things only got worse.
Montgomery also says, “on day 10, he was needing oxygen and I was able to get his oxygen concentration back up to normal limits somewhat until the night before he got so sick.”
Tom fought COVID-19 for nearly a month and developed pneumonia.
He was re-admitted to the hospital, put on a ventilator, and fought for every last breath until the very end, just before Christmas.
Montgomery added, “aside from this is the fact that this is the man I dearly loved, it was one of the worst deaths that I have ever seen.”
Tom’s passing convinced Catherine, who used to be an RN, it’s vital to follow the science.
Montgomery also says, “I believe in them, I believe in research and I was thrilled to finally be able to get the vaccine, even though we didn’t have it in time to save my husband.”
Source: Grand Junction Local News | Grand Junction woman shares the story of her husband’s battle with COVID-19