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Henderson woman hospitalized with COVID-19 dies days after anniversary

Updated September 19, 2020 - 5:54 pm

The last time Gerald Fife saw his wife was from his hospital bed.

He was being taken to a scan to make sure he didn’t have blood clots in his lungs. Sharon Fife was being taken to hospice and was heavily sedated and unresponsive. She never moved.

“The only thing you can say is you love them, and hope that they can hear you,” he said.

Gerald said he knew she would die. It was just a matter of time. Both had been hospitalized and tested positive for COVID-19.

His wife, 82, had diabetes and breathing issues, he said.

“And that does not help COVID because it just eats it up,” Gerald Fife said. “And she just went straight downhill.”

Sharon died Aug. 30, just four days after her 60th wedding anniversary. Gerald, who turned 85 on his anniversary, said he did not see his wife that day, despite her being just a few rooms away.

Gerald and Sharon met in Gary, Indiana, where they worked in the same U.S. Steel Corp. office. It was a whirlwind romance, as Gerald describes it, and in just three months, they were married.

After Gerald left the company in the 1980s, the couple moved to Texas. In 2015, they moved to Henderson to be closer to one of their daughters.

Sharon loved to paint, read and study the Bible. When her kids were young, she was a Brownie troop leader.

She liked shopping, even if just to see new styles, her husband said. She was also a fan of big, dangly earrings.

“The bigger and danglier, the better,” Gerald said.

He doesn’t know where he contracted the virus, but before he got sick, he thought maybe he would take his chances.

“And my chance was bad because I got it,” he said.

Before getting sick, Gerald didn’t wear a mask, he said. Now, he wants people to follow public health guidance and wear the face coverings.

“And then there are some people who say, ‘Well, the mask will hurt you more than the virus,’” Gerald said. “Well, that’s a lie, especially if you catch the virus.”

COVID-19 has been the primary cause of death for more than 1,500 people in Nevada.

In an effort to more thoroughly report how COVID-19 affects Southern Nevada, the Las Vegas Review-Journal wants to memorialize people who died from the disease. Share your friend or loved one’s story by visiting reviewjournal.com/covid-stories.

Contact Blake Apgar at bapgar@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-5298. Follow @blakeapgar on Twitter.

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