Jonathan Coelho wanted his family to know how much they meant to him in case he didn't make it out of the hospital.
His wife said in a statement to TODAY that Coelho left behind a heartbreaking note for his family before he died on Wednesday at a Connecticut hospital from cardiac arrest she said was brought on by coronavirus.
Following Jonathan's death, Katie Coelho, 33, discovered the note after his phone was returned to her.
She shared it on a GoFundMe page set up by family friend Katie Slayton.
"I love you guys with all my heart and you’ve given me the best life I could have ever asked for,'' the father of two wrote, according to the site. "I am so lucky it makes me so proud to be your husband and the father to Braedyn and penny. Katie you are the most beautiful caring nurturing person I’ve ever met.....you are truly one of a kind.....make sure you live life with happiness and that same passion that made me fall in love with you."
The 32-year-old was the sole provider for his wife, son Braedyn, 2, and 10-month-old daughter Penelope, according to the news release.
"I want people to remember how much Jonathan loved us; how much he felt blessed to have the life he had," Coelho said in the statement. "How much he fought to be with us, and to make sure we knew how much he cared about us. I want people to remember this is what true love looks like, that in a time of such pain and suffering that true love is possible."
Braedyn was born with severe neurological issues that manifested as cerebral palsy, according to a Facebook page set up by the family to chronicle his journey. Jonathan cherished his time with him and their daughter.
"Seeing you be the best mom to the kids is the greatest thing I’ve ever experienced," he wrote in his note. "Let Braedyn (know) he’s my best bud and I’m proud to be his father and for all the amazing things he’s done and continues to do. Let Penelope know she’s a princess and can have whatever she wants in life. I’m so lucky."
"The note means everything," Coelho said in her statement. "It is a testament to the human being my husband was, what he felt for us and what he wanted us to know in his scariest moments. I will always have his words to show our children, which will help them deal with this unimaginable loss.
"But it will also help form them into being a reflection of the amazing human being their father was. It means that I will always have a reminder in my lowest moments of how truly my husband loved me. It’s also a sad reminder that I will live my life missing that love, that my husband feared he wouldn’t come home. The note contains his final words, his final ‘I love you’ and that’s something I am both so grateful for but haunted by."
Jonathan tested positive for COVID-19 on March 26 and was admitted to the hospital with severe breathing issues, according to the GoFundMe page. Katie Coelho told TODAY that he had come in contact with someone who had the virus two days earlier in his job at a courthouse near their home.
He spent 28 days in the hospital, 20 of them on a ventilator, and "was so close to recovery when his body just couldn’t fight anymore," his wife said on the fundraising page.
"The pain we are feeling is indescribable, our everything was stolen from us,'' she wrote. "My heart is not even broken it’s shattered. My kids and I will live the rest of our lives without Jonathan. And I don’t know how we’re going to do it."