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Nurse's husband hospitalized with COVID-19 in the same hospital where she works

Betsy Farmer was working in the Northeast Georgia Healthcare ER when her husband started having trouble breathing. He was rushed to Northeast Georgia Healthcare.

GAINESVILLE, Ga. — An ER nurse working with COVID-19 patients knows how scary the virus is, firsthand.

Her husband was diagnosed and hospitalized with coronavirus and treated in the ICU at her own hospital. 

She says it was the most difficult experience of her life -- to work in the same building that her husband was being treated in, without being able to see him.

Betsy Farmer's co-workers were there to cheer for her husband Judge when he was released from the Northeast Georgia Health System in Gainesville, because they were the ones who treated him. 

"It was the hardest thing ever," she said. "Truly, the hardest thing ever."

Betsy has been a nurse at the same hospital for 20 years. She was at work when her husband started having trouble breathing. 

"My co-workers had to come get him out of the car," she said. "He could not even walk at that point."

He was immediately declared critical and doctors told her he would need to be placed on a ventilator immediately. 

"As a nurse, all I know to do is help people. To find a problem and work through it," she said. "And I couldn't do that. And I was alone. I felt alone." 

He was rushed to the COVID unit at the hospital where he was in complete isolation -- just a few floors up from where Betsy was working in the ER. 

"At least if I was at work, I was near him. I was in the same building as him," she said. "And my children wanted me there, too. I was there with Dad, and in the same building."

Judge was in the hospital for 15 days, and Betsy said they celebrated every improvement. 

"It was the best day ever. When he was taken off the ventilator, that was the best day ever," she said. "Hearing that the dialysis was good, when he moved out of the critical care unit, best day ever."

The day he was released? That was the best day ever. 

She finally got to hear the hospital's anthem for every recovered patient played for her husband: 'Don't Stop Believing.'

"I love that, and now that this has really hit home for our Emergency Room," she said. "It's a big Emergency Room -- when that comes on, there's so many times, staff will just break out in song or start clapping, and I love that."

Judge is back at home now and on home kidney dialysis, but his doctors say he's getting stronger every day and they're hopeful he'll make a full recovery. 

The whole family is so thankful, they're all home and healthy now. 

11Alive is focusing our news coverage on the facts and not the fear around the virus.  We want to keep you informed about the latest developments while ensuring that we deliver confirmed, factual information. 

We will track the most important coronavirus elements relating to Georgia on this page. Refresh often for new information. 


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