COVID-19 patient dies five days after leaving hospital

Posted at 8:35 PM, Apr 17, 2020

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A West Michigan family is now planning a funeral just a few days after their loved one with COVID-19 was released from the hospital.

Cathy Yeaw went home last Friday and just five days later she was gone. Her granddaughter tells FOX 17 the outpouring of support from total strangers means so much.

“She went into the nursing home, she was really excited about being out of the hospital,” said April Tezak, Cathy's granddaughter.

Tezak told FOX 17 that her grandma loved God, her church, playing bingo and crocheting.

The 79-year-old also lived for her little ones. She had 12 kids, 26 grandchildren, 42 great-grandchildren, and three great-great grandchildren.

But last month she ended up in the hospital diagnosed with the Coronavirus. Last week Metro Health captured her release on video.

“She was feeling better, her X-rays were showing that her lungs were clearing up and oxygen levels were back up to normal," said Tezak.

Just days later, she started showing signs of a stroke and confusion.

Doctors screened her blood and urine to see if anything was going on.

Then on Wednesday, nurses found Cathy unresponsive on the floor with her mask removed.

“It’s hard to feel any sense of relief when they tell you ‘oh hey, she’s doing better’, every time it just felt like - I don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t quite believe it yet," said Tezak.

She says Cathy did have issues with COPD, high blood pressure, emphysema, and bronchitis.

So the family doesn't think she necessarily died from COVID, but it definitely made her problems worse.

“I think it contributed to the difficulty in her recovery and ultimately I do believe that’s why she’s not with us today," said Tezak. " I believe she could’ve recovered had it not been for that virus being in her body.”

A lot of people were following Cathy's story after we spoke with her.

That's why April posted about her grandma's death on Facebook thanking people for caring, saying in part, "so many of you have been following my gram's story and have been so supportive and encouraging."

“I really wouldn’t want anyone to have to go through that roller coaster," said Tezak. "it was a long period of time we were going through this. I have no doubt that COVID played a role in her not being able to recover.”

April says the family is still waiting for the death certificate. Next week's funeral can only have a total of 10 people because of the virus.

Metro Health is saddened to hear of the passing of Kathy Yeaw. In a statement to FOX 17 it said, "It was an honor caring for her and she will be remembered for her fighting spirit and the joy she brought our staff during her stay. Our condolences go out to the Yeaw family during this difficult time.."