A woman has told of the heartbreaking moment her husband passed away after a swift battle with Covid-19.

Maura Lewinger says her husband Joe was one of a kind, writing her love letters every morning and placing them in her lunch box.

But last weekend the 42-year-old husband from New York died from complications of Covid-19.

Lewinger was not with her husband for his final moments, but a desperate last-minute effort with nurses to set up his FaceTime allowed the pair to say goodbye.

Joe, Maura and their three children. Photo / CNN
Joe, Maura and their three children. Photo / CNN

Joe had no pre-existing conditions and he started out with "mild symptoms" that included a low-grade fever, Lewinger told CNN on Friday.

It was around St Patrick's Day in March that his fever spiked and he started to have issues breathing.

In the days before Joe's death, Lewinger told CNN the two "pretty much spent 24/7 on FaceTime, trying to meditate and calm him, trying not to let him feel alone".

But as Joe's breathing deteriorated, nurses told Lewinger she might have one last chance to talk to her husband.

As she waited for FaceTime to be set up, Lewinger said she listened to her wedding song on loop while staring into the backyard. Then the doctor called back.

Maura Lewinger and her husband Joe. Photo / CNN
Maura Lewinger and her husband Joe. Photo / CNN

"We have thrown the kitchen sink at him and I'm afraid he doesn't have more time," the doctor told Lewinger.

She then called through to say her final goodbye.
Covid19.govt.nz: The Government's official Covid-19 advisory website

"I saw him and I begged him not to leave us and told him we all need him," Lewinger said.


"I thanked him for being the most amazing husband, for making me feel cherished and loved every single day.

"I thanked him, and then I prayed. The doctor took the phone and said 'I'm sorry, there's no pulse'.

"Then I played our wedding song for him, and that was it. I was with him when he passed.

"I don't want anyone else to experience this... people are just not being careful and they're not invincible.

"You cannot, cannot, be with people that are not in your house. As sad and lonely and everything that is, you must, must stay with only the people in your house."

Joe leaves behind his wife, three children, a son and two daughters.