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FOCUS: Kentucky woman loses husband, job to COVID-19

Gayle Bright of Shively, lost her job, but worse, she lost the man that she loves to COVID-19.

SHIVELY, Ky. — For 16 years, Gayle Bright, 51, worked as a medical assistant for an orthopedic surgeon. When COVID-19 threatened Kentucky, the practice closed up and Gayle handled claims from home.

However, on August 21, she was let go, so she applied for unemployment.

With no progress on her claim, Gayle’s husband, Victor Bright, 73, told her not to worry and he would take care of the finances.

Victor was retired from UPS.

Later, they both started feeling terrible so Gayle took a COVID-19 test on October 1 and tested positive.

But as she got better, Victor was getting worse.

He was at high risk because of underlying medical issues including kidney and liver disease, diabetes, and a painful chronic skin condition.

Gayle took her husband to the ER at St. Marys Hospital.

“He looked at me and he said I hope this is not the last time I see you,” she said tearing up. “It was.”

“Sunday he was on a ventilator, Monday he went on dialysis, and Tuesday he died.

Gayle buried Victor Saturday.

Sadly reflecting back, Gayle said she believes her husband knew he was dying and wanted to come home.

“Before he went into a coma, he was calling me and he kept asking, he kept saying honey please come get me, I want to go home with you.”

COVID took everything; her job, her income as well as her husband.

Now Gayle doesn’t know what to do about unemployment.

Like so many, her claim remains under investigation, she’s stuck in the phone queue, and no one will call her back.

“To me it’s insulting,” she said. “We pay taxes for people to help us, and we’re not getting what we’re paying for.”

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