CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – More than 900 people have been diagnosed with the coronavirus in the Mountain state. The number lost to the virus now stands at 31. Yesterday morning, a family said goodbye to their beloved mother after she was diagnosed with COVID-19 in March.
Jewell Wilson’s family puts a face to this devastating virus — and a ‘why’ behind the importance of the social distancing standards.
She was born “Cluster Jewell Haynes in 1934 — the Big Chimney native was special from day one.
“Her mother named her cluster jewel as a cluster of jewels…I was always amazed at the name so I asked my grandmother why did you name her like that and she said because she is beautiful she is my jewel,” Brian Wilson, Jewell’s son, tells 13 News via video chat from his home in North Carolina.
Jewell grew into a strong woman, working from a young age, the only thing that changed was her last name after marrying the love of her life, Cecil Edward Wilson.
“She was one of the strongest willed indiviudals you will ever meet in your life. When she decided on a plan and a path she followed that plan with that path,” Brian says with a laugh.
Jewell’s son tells me her strength never wavered. In March of this year, Jewell contracted COVID-19, it’s believed while living in Brookdale Gardens, a care home that was later mass tested when a then un-named patient tested positive. She won her battle with the virus…but unfortunately lost to complications.
“This virus doesn’t prey on the big strong guys all of the people going out there and having fun, hey its okay ill take care of it, you’re probably right, you’ll probably be fine, the problem is you’re going to take it to your parents or your grandparents or to your friend who had cancer and survived cancer they were successful they defeated it and they made it through but then this will get them,” Brian says.
Though brian’s mother was one of the first positive cases in the state, hospital visitation restrictions immediately went into place and neither he nor his siblings were allowed in the hospital to be by her side at the end.
“I want to thank the doctors and nurses because I am hearing over and over again that they are not letting anyone die alone, they are going in and they are holding their hand and they are making sure that they have human contact. they are making sure they have human contact and that’s important. family is important and I want everyone to realize that when you are in a hospital alone it is scary and we don’t want people to be in hospitals alone so let’s end this, let’s get through this” an emotional Brian tells 13 News as he recalls his mother’s journey.
Jewell Wilson spent 37 days in the hospital… Brian says 27 of those were spent on a ventilator.
Brian also told 13 News he feels blessed to have been able to talk to his mom and tell her he loved her before she passed. Now he hopes her story will encourage others to take health guidelines seriously.