Local nurse recovers from COVID-19 while her husband fights to stay alive

Apr 24, 2020, 3:53 PM
Tammy and Brian Edwards are avid Seahawks fans. (Photo courtesy of Tammy Edwards)
(Photo courtesy of Tammy Edwards)

A Tacoma nurse is living a nightmare. She’s at home, alone, trying to recover from COVID-19 while her husband is battling to stay alive at the hospital where she works.

Virologist: Olympia protest could lead to spike in WA coronavirus cases

“I want people to know this virus is very real and so many people are still fighting for their lives. My husband is one of them,” Tammy Edwards said.

Edwards is a registered nurse at MultiCare Tacoma General Hospital. On the Gee and Ursula Show Friday, she described how she felt like she was getting the flu on April 6. Her body ached, she had chills and a fever, and she lost her sense of smell and taste. She took some days off work, but had to wait a few more days before she found out she tested positive for COVID-19.

By then, her husband Brian was also showing symptoms. He never lost his taste or smell, but he had gastrointestinal issues, and by day four, he was coughing nonstop. Edwards said she took him to the hospital but after getting antibiotics, he was sent home.

Last Sunday, things took a turn for the worse.

“By the time his oxygen levels dropped to the 70s, I had to call 911,” she said. “Within hours, he was intubated and on a ventilator and he’s been there ever since.”

Edwards said her husband is in critical but stable condition. It’s touch and go, but she is confident he is getting the best possible care from the staff at Tacoma General. They’ve allowed her to call in so that she can video chat with him for several hours a day.

“Even though he can’t respond, they’ve put the phone by his face,” she said. “I tell him how much he is loved and that there are so many people pulling for him.”

Edwards said she was nervous to share her story because of all the turmoil and fighting over reopening the economy. Her original Facebook post has been shared more than 20,000 times. Unfortunately, there have been some people who doubt what she’s saying, accusing her of being part of a conspiracy or a hoax.

“I’m not a crisis actor, I’m a real person. I was born and raised in Tacoma,” she said. “We can’t take pictures in the COVID unit because they’re on lock down. But our floors are full in the hospitals. There are people dying and struggling every day.”

Edwards pointed out that there is still so much that health experts don’t know about the virus, and she hopes people continue to take precautions when restrictions are lifted.

Edwards is also urging everyone who has had COVID-19 to donate plasma once it’s safe to do so. Her husband got a plasma donation from someone who had the virus. Researchers believe COVID-19 survivors have antibodies that could save up to four lives. She will be donating plasma after she is symptom free for 28 days.

Plasma from COVID-19 survivors may help patients fighting the virus

The two are avid Seahawks fans and she hopes they can go to games again in the future. A Seahawks fan group has set up a fund for the Edwards family to help offset medical and other costs, which are expected to top hundreds of thousands of dollars. But Tammy said she’s not worried about costs right now. Although it’s going to be a long road, she just wants her husband to fully recover and for others to not have to experience the pain her family has been going through.

“We all need to take a step back,” she said. “We’re going to get through this pandemic, but we have to remember it only takes one person to spread the virus to hundreds of others.”

Listen to the Gee and Ursula Show weekday mornings from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

Gee and Ursula Show

Gee and Ursula

vaccine, kids...
Gee and Ursula Show

Virologist: ‘Time interval’ between doses will be important in vaccinations for kids

Dr. Rasmussen explains why, in her opinion, there should be enough clinical data to support emergency authorization of a vaccine for kids ages 5-11.
2 days ago
Sara Nelson...
Gee and Ursula Show

Seattle council candidate Sara Nelson outlines plan for homelessness, policing

Seattle City Council Position 9 candidate Sara Nelson calls for added encampment sweeps and police accountability over defunding.
5 days ago
Gee and Ursula Show

Superintendent: More ‘issues with adults’ over masking rule than students

The state Superintendent says things are going "pretty darn well" as schools reopened. He credits that success to COVID rules, which include masking.
7 days ago
Vaccine mandate...
Gee and Ursula Show

With Washington’s vaccine mandate deadline imminent, a minority chooses resignation

KIRO Radio speaks with the minority coalition which has decided to take a stand against the vaccine mandate and accept termination or resignation.
8 days ago
students, vaccine...
Gee and Ursula Show

State Superintendent says any future vaccine mandate for students will be ‘statewide’

The state Superintendent of Public Instruction says there won't be a vaccine mandate for students until there's full federal approval of a vaccine for kids.
9 days ago
Seattle City Attorney abolitionist Nicole Thomas-Kennedy, candidate...
Gee and Ursula Show

‘I didn’t think anybody took me that seriously,’ Seattle candidate says about anti-police tweets

Seattle city attorney candidate Nicole Thomas-Kennedy tells Gee and Ursula how she would run the office and responds to tweets she posted in 2020.
15 days ago

Sponsored Articles


Medicare open enrollment for 2022 starts Oct. 15 and SHIBA can help!

Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner SPONSORED — Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period, also called the Annual Election Period, is Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. During this time, people enrolled in Medicare can: Switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan and vice versa. Join, drop or switch a Part D prescription drug plan, […]

How to Have a Stress-Free Real Estate Experience

The real estate industry has adapted and sellers are taking full advantage of new real estate models. One of which is Every Door Real Estate.
IQ Air

How Poor Air Quality Is Affecting Our Future Athletes

You cannot control your child’s breathing environment 100% of the time, but you can make a huge impact.
Swedish Health Services

Special Coverage: National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

There are a wide variety of treatment options available for men with prostate cancer. The most technologically advanced treatment option in the Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform.
Marysville Police Department

Police Opportunities in a Growing, Supportive Washington Community

Marysville PD is looking for both lateral and entry level officers. Begin or continue your career in law enforcement for a growing, supportive community.

Small, Minority-Owned Businesses in King County and Pierce County Can Now Apply For $10,000 Relief Grants Through Comcast RISE

Businesses in King County and Pierce County can apply beginning on October 1, 2021, at for a chance to receive a $10,000 relief grant.
Local nurse recovers from COVID-19 while her husband fights to stay alive