Pregnant mom fights to save husband dying of COVID in Texas hospital

SAN ANGELO, TX — Five-year-old Brooke Wallace in San Angelo knows her daddy is very sick. On a sweltering afternoon, she sat under the shade of an oak tree beside her two younger sisters — Aubrey and Kate — swinging on a backyard play-set until it was time to call their father.

At about 5:15 p.m. that Thursday, Aug. 19, 2021, Jessica Wallace gathered all three children together, and the four took a short walk to a relative’s house next door. She strolled hand-in-hand with Kate, who is one year old, while Aubrey, age 3, toddled ahead of her mother to keep pace with Brooke.

“Aubrey does ask a lot, ‘Where’s daddy, where’s daddy?'” Jessica said. “My five-year-old, Brooke, she understands.”

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Jessica Wallace, far left, talks on the phone to her in-laws while, from left: Kate, Brooke and Aubrey Wallace play in the back yard of their home north of San Angelo on Thursday, Aug. 19, 2021.

The children sat at the dinner table snacking on cups of chocolate ice cream while Jessica called Shannon Medical Center. Eight months pregnant, she rested one hand on the curve of her belly waiting to speak with a nurse stationed at the hospital’s COVID-19 unit.

It’s become a daily ritual over the past three weeks: Jessica asks the nurse if a video call can be arranged with her husband, Caleb Wallace, who has been hospitalized with the coronavirus since the beginning of August.

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