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Husband & wife return home after being hospitalized with COVID-19 together


A Nebraska native nearly lost both her parents to COVID-19 at the same time.Traci Pribyl, of Omaha, was on a ventilator for a month. Her husband, Robert, was in a hospital bed of his own trying to fight off the virus.A routine doctor's appointment for 71-year-old Robert Pribyl led to a COVID-19 diagnosis. It was early November. His doctor asked him to come back a couple of days later for a check-up, then immediately admitted him to the hospital."I felt weak, real weak,” he said.Little did he know, his 55-year-old wife Traci was home alone with the virus, and deteriorating fast.Their daughter flew in from Florida when Traci stopped answering texts. She had a nurse come by to give her mom an IV.“She had given Traci fluids and they said her vitals were horrible and so she called the squad. I believe that is what saved her life,” Robert said.Traci was rushed to the ER. Both Pribyls were now in the hospital fighting the virus.“I just told her, I said, 'mom, you're not doing so good. And I need you to be strong for me, because I’m trying, and I can't hold it together. But they're going to have to put you to sleep. Your body needs to rest,” Kirstin Pribyl said.Traci spent the next month on a ventilator.Kirstin said it was moment by moment for both parents."It is so traumatic. I just can’t stress that enough. It's very traumatic to watch this, to go through this, to make these decisions. I definitely thought that my world was going to start crashing down on me,” Kirstin said.Robert went home in two weeks. Traci was released Dec. 6.Even though he's older, Robert believes he was better off because of one thing.“She was not vaccinated, and I was,” Robert said. “But I am now,” Traci added. “They say it's not so bad if you're vaccinated. You can still catch it but you don’t have the severity of the disease,” Robert said.Traci said she wasn't sure about the vaccine and held off on getting it. She said that decision was “stupid.”“I don’t want to say I was cocky and invincible and that it wouldn’t happen to me, because everybody’s number is going to be pulled at some point, but I just didn’t realize it would be this bad and I would be in delirium,” she said.She said doctors told her it could take up to two years to fully recover. She said she doesn’t remember even taking Robert to the hospital, nor the entirety of her illness, until doctors were taking the tube out of her body.She's still waiting for her voice to come back.They encourage others to just get the shot.

A Nebraska native nearly lost both her parents to COVID-19 at the same time.

Traci Pribyl, of Omaha, was on a ventilator for a month. Her husband, Robert, was in a hospital bed of his own trying to fight off the virus.

A routine doctor's appointment for 71-year-old Robert Pribyl led to a COVID-19 diagnosis. It was early November. His doctor asked him to come back a couple of days later for a check-up, then immediately admitted him to the hospital.

"I felt weak, real weak,” he said.

Little did he know, his 55-year-old wife Traci was home alone with the virus, and deteriorating fast.

Their daughter flew in from Florida when Traci stopped answering texts.

She had a nurse come by to give her mom an IV.

“She had given Traci fluids and they said her vitals were horrible and so she called the squad. I believe that is what saved her life,” Robert said.

Traci was rushed to the ER. Both Pribyls were now in the hospital fighting the virus.

“I just told her, I said, 'mom, you're not doing so good. And I need you to be strong for me, because I’m trying, and I can't hold it together. But they're going to have to put you to sleep. Your body needs to rest,” Kirstin Pribyl said.

Traci spent the next month on a ventilator.

Kirstin said it was moment by moment for both parents.

"It is so traumatic. I just can’t stress that enough. It's very traumatic to watch this, to go through this, to make these decisions. I definitely thought that my world was going to start crashing down on me,” Kirstin said.

Robert went home in two weeks. Traci was released Dec. 6.

Even though he's older, Robert believes he was better off because of one thing.

“She was not vaccinated, and I was,” Robert said. “But I am now,” Traci added.

“They say it's not so bad if you're vaccinated. You can still catch it but you don’t have the severity of the disease,” Robert said.

Traci said she wasn't sure about the vaccine and held off on getting it. She said that decision was “stupid.”

“I don’t want to say I was cocky and invincible and that it wouldn’t happen to me, because everybody’s number is going to be pulled at some point, but I just didn’t realize it would be this bad and I would be in delirium,” she said.

She said doctors told her it could take up to two years to fully recover. She said she doesn’t remember even taking Robert to the hospital, nor the entirety of her illness, until doctors were taking the tube out of her body.

She's still waiting for her voice to come back.

They encourage others to just get the shot.


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