Calgary man, 90, dies from COVID-19 with no loved one beside him
CALGARY -- Edward Hrynkiw loved life and encouraged others to do the same, but when he lost his life on April 2, Joyce, who was married to Edward for over 60 years, wasn’t allowed to be in the room with him when he took his final breath.
That's just the emotional price thousands of people around the world are paying for the physical toll extracted by COVID-19.
“It makes me very scared and worried that he was alone,” said daughter Bonnie Krall.
Alone and dying.
Those are the worst fears of families around the world with loved ones battling severe cases of coronavirus, and not what the Hrynkiw’s daughter imagined he faced when the 90-year-old moved into the Mckenzie Towne Continuing Care home in the summer.
In March, a cluster of COVID-19 cases locked down the facility and with it put a stop to Hrynkiw’s daily visits from his wife, who lives across the street.
“He couldn’t use a phone, he couldn’t use an iPad, he couldn’t have a message up in his window or any form of communication,” Krall told CTV News.
The loss of life at the Mckenzie Towne home has been substantial, accounting for nearly half of Alberta’s 50 COVID-19 deaths.
Since the outbreak, stricter measures have been put in place at long term care centres across the province in an attempt to stop any further spread but cases continue to crop up.
270 residents have tested positive for coronavirus at 34 continuing care facilities across the province.
“It is not acceptable that elderly Albertans are being put at risk in a place where they are supposed to be protected,” said Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health.
Friday the province announced residents and staff of continuing care facilities that have outbreaks will be tested, whether showing symptoms or not.
The changes won’t bring back Hrynkiw or his fellow residents who passed away since the start of the pandemic.
The 90-year-old was remembered as ‘dedicated’ and ‘committed’ to his family and to his job with the CPR.
Hrynkiw was born on a Manitoba homestead but moved to Calgary in his twenties.
“He enjoyed the Stampede so much. That was his favourite time of the year,” Krall told CTV News.
She has fond memories of her dad cooking breakfast for her and her two sisters.
The family plans on holding a funeral service at a later date.
Krall says for now, the focus is on keeping her grieving mother healthy and honouring her late father.
“He loved his wife dearly, he loved his relatives and we loved him.”