Kate Snow shares update on husband — and offers 3 tips for caregivers

Snow said her husband, Chris Bro, is recovering well and revealed how she's kept him and her family safe during his illness.
/ Source: Today
By Maura Hohman

After showing symptoms of the coronavirus, NBC News correspondent Kate Snow's husband, Chris Bro, is recovering well — thanks in no small part to his wife's caregiving efforts.

Snow appeared on TODAY to discuss his progress and how she's kept her family safe throughout his illness.

"We are so lucky. I feel so blessed that he is feeling much much better," she told TODAY's Sheinelle Jones. "A lot of people don’t ever go to the hospital. He didn’t have to go to the hospital."

Snow added that once Bro was feeling well enough, he was able to get tested at a drive-thru appointment, and the family is still waiting for results.

"We’re presuming he has coronavirus, but we haven’t confirmed it just yet," she said before diving into strategies she's used to monitor his condition.

Kate Snow shared tips for at-home caregivers of coronavirus patients, which she learned from managing husband Chris Bro's illness.Gonzalo Marroquin / Paul Bruinooge/Patrick McMullan

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1. Using an app to monitor his breathing

First up was the Pulse Oximeter app, which Snow's primary care doctor recommended after hearing Bro's symptoms — "massive body aches ... coughing and having some trouble breathing," Snow recalled.

While Snow can't endorse any apps in particular, the one she used takes users' blood-oxygen levels through a finger placed on the phone's camera and flashlight. A normal reading is in the 99 to 100 range, Snow added.

"I’m not a doctor, but that’s what I’ve been told," she clarified. "If it starts to dip low — you want to ask your own doctor what low means for you — that’s where you get in trouble. My doctor said, 'If it dips below a certain number, I want you to take him to the ER.' I checked it every three hours."

Because handheld pulse oximeters are hard to find and needed by health care workers right now, the "app was a life saver," she said.

2. Focusing on breathing with a spirometer

To strengthen her husband's breathing, Snow relied on another device, a spirometer, which was recommended by Bro's sister, who's a nurse.

"It’s sort of like a game that you use to ... exercise your lungs," she explained. "You suck air … and you try to get this piston to rise … doing the deepest breath you can ... People often get these after surgery."

But there's a caveat: Spirometers usually aren't recommended for people with "trouble" breathing," so talk to a health care provider before using one, Snow said.

3. Prevent spreading the virus to other family members

Last, she shared how she's handling the risk of infection inside her home, which is especially important because she has two children. Primarily, Snow's focused on cleaning.

"You can take a third cup of bleach and mix it with a gallon of water. That’s per the CDC," she said. "Wipe down every surface … a countertop, a table, not wood because the bleach would stain it, but things you can safely bleach."

Then you leave it alone for a minute or so until it dries.

"That’s what the CDC says," she added, "The bleach has to air dry, and that’s what kills the virus."

Snow first shared her husband's condition with fans on Twitter earlier this month.

"Wanted to let you know why I am not anchoring Nightly News on this Sunday," she began the brief clip. "My husband, Chris Bro, is pretty sick ... (He) has coronavirus based on the symptoms although he hasn't gone and gotten a test because he doesn't want to potentially infect me or anybody else in the house."

She continued: "He is in the basement in a guest room with his own bathroom ... I am gonna go bring him lunch. This is what my life is now, taking care of him."

Snow also delved into her experience for a previous story on TODAY.

"As a reporter, I don’t like telling a story about myself," she wrote. "But maybe it will help somebody to know that we’re going through the exact same thing that they’re going through. I know that we’re not alone."