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Pandemic policy keeps Las Vegas man from terminally ill wife’s bedside

Updated April 3, 2020 - 10:37 am

Corey Huh knew Adriana was the one the moment he laid eyes on her at a church function.

He liked her eyes, her laugh and her smile with one “little crooked tooth.”

But first he had to make sure she wasn’t married. She’d shown up with a man. He turned out to be her brother.

After a few months of friendship, they began to date. Two years later, in October 2016, they married.

Their love story took a devastating turn a month ago, after Adriana Huh had a miscarriage. At first doctors thought the ongoing pain and bleeding were due to the miscarriage and benign fibroid tumors. Then they became concerned about nodules in her lungs. She developed breathing problems that worsened and was admitted to MountainView Hospital on Monday.

Corey has not seen Adriana since, he said in an interview Thursday morning at the home of his pastor. The couple has since been told, separately, that Adriana has carcinosarcoma, an aggressive cancer that spread from her uterus to her lungs. She also is being tested for COVID-19, though she previously tested negative.

Corey was turned away three times from seeing his wife because of new hospital policies brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. On Thursday afternoon, he was finally allowed to spend an hour with her in her room.

At the recommendation of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, hospitals across the country are prohibiting most visitors to avoid the spread of the new coronavirus.

Not considered exception

MountainView Hospital has undertaken measures like restricting visitors to “better ensure the safety of our patients, physicians, employees and visitors,” a spokeswoman wrote in an email.

There are limited exceptions to the policy. There can be one adult visitor for a pediatric patient, a patient in labor or a patient approaching “end of life status,” for example.

Corey said a doctor at the hospital has told him that his wife won’t recover, and that she is in danger of slipping into a coma. Hospital staff also have told him she does not meet the criteria to be an exception.

“Any requests to deviate from the policy are reviewed,” hospital spokeswoman Jennifer McDonnell wrote in an email. ”We have been actively working with patients and their families to ensure any visitation, when allowed, is done in a safe manner.”

Gayla Boyd, the pastor at Corey and Adriana’s church, said that Adriana, who is 30, was without family or friends when she was told that she had terminal cancer, though a doctor offered to sit with her after she got the news.

Imagine hearing this, Boyd said, with “not one person to hold your hand or cry with you.”

“She was a young healthy lady 30 days ago,” she continued. “How could this be? All of us are praying for a miracle right now.”

To provide support, Corey, Boyd, church friends and family 25 strong gathered Wednesday night in the parking lot nearest her hospital window with signs offering words of encouragement. Adriana was too ill to go to the window, but the group chatted with her on FaceTime.

After a few minutes, hospital security told the group to disperse.

“In terms of gatherings on hospital property, we are adhering to the governor’s order and are discouraging gatherings of 10 or more people,” McDonnell said. “We also are asking people to adhere to 6 feet between each other.”

‘I’ll do whatever it takes’

Adriana Huh, who is receiving oxygen, has been unable to talk, so the couple is texting.

“I promised her that I will be with her through everything, and I can’t even be with her now,” Corey said, his voice faltering. He told hospital administrators that he would “wear a hazmat suit, I’ll do whatever it takes. I won’t even leave the hospital.”

Later Thursday, Corey received permission to visit his wife. Boyd, pastor of Truth Christian Ministries International, said he was elated and considered it a birthday present of sorts. Corey, who recently left a bank teller position to accept a front desk position at a Strip resort that is now on hold, turned 30 on Thursday.

Asked earlier in the day what he’d first say to his wife when they reunited, he responded: “That I love her. That I’m not going to leave her side.”

Contact Mary Hynes at mhynes@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0336. Follow @MaryHynes1 on Twitter.

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