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Family shares emotional journey with COVID-19

Data pix.

KIRKLAND, Wash. -- Weeks before Washington state was in lock-down and most people began changing how they lived their lives, COVID-19 ravaged through Life Care Center of Kirkland.

"A lot of people at Life Care Center went from being reasonably healthy to dead in six hours, that's what the doctor told us," says Ted Ish.

Ted's mother Nell had been living at Life Care for four years when he got the call that she was sick in late February. Once the news came out that patients in the facility had COVID-19, the family suspected the worst.

"It was just shocking that, you know, it was happening in her facility," says Nell's daughter-in-law, Ronda.

Nell was rushed to UW Medical Center on March 6. The next day she tested positive for COVID-19. It was crushing for her family to think the virus would take away the woman who'd lived such an impactful life.

"She was born in 1924. She has five kids, three were adopted, and she has 13 grandkids and 13 great grandkids," says

"We celebrated her 95th birthday in December, and she hadn't been very lucid around that time. She'd been frail already...she's probably not going to survive. This is kinda of what we thought," says Ronda.

While processing that, the Ish family got news that their 24-year-old son also had COVID-19.

"It's been a really emotional time. It's kind of hard to talk about it," says Ted.

But in the last 48 hours, something sort of like a miracle happened. 95-year-old Nell and the Ish's son both recovered.

"I think people often think of worst case scenarios, and we want them to know there's also some best case scenarios, too," Ish said .

The future is still largely unknown for Nell. The family needs to find a new nursing facility for her, which so far proving to be extremely difficult. When they do find her a new home, they know they won't be able to physically see her for a while.

"It's really emotional, there's not much you can do about it, so you just keep going forward," Ish said.

Tonight they are counting their blessing, and they want to tell people there is hope -- and to remind us all to keep showing love, even in times of social distancing.

"Tell your loved ones how much they mean to you because once they get into this situation, its almost impossible to talk to them on the phone when they’re in the hospital. You can’t go visit them, you can’t do all the things we normally do when our loved one normally gets sick-you can’t, so you feel really isolated. You feel helpless."

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