Father of five suffering from COVID-19, wife pleading for people to get vaccinated

Josh Kunze
Posted at 9:36 PM, Sep 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-17 16:43:09-04

A family with Arizona roots is sending out a plea for people to get vaccinated.

This comes after a father of five was diagnosed with COVID-19 and is now in a hospital, fighting for his life.

Maresa Kunze says her husband Josh was not vaccinated, and now she wishes she could go back and have him get the vaccine.

She tells ABC15 the last couple of weeks have been a nightmare, not knowing if Josh, her husband of almost 10 years, is going to make it through the night.

“My husband might not be here tomorrow. He has his good days and then he has incredibly bad days that are horrific and scary,” she said.

She says he started feeling sick on August 10.

They found out he had COVID-19 on August 16.

He was put on a ventilator less than two weeks later.

"He's 30. No preexisting conditions. He doesn't smoke. He doesn't drink. He doesn't do drugs. He plays with his kids every day. He's the kind of guy you'd want your sons to grow up to be or your daughters to grow up and fall in love with," she added.

Kunze describes him as a man who is full of life and full of love for their five children.

"They are four, six, seven, nine, and eleven," she told ABC15.

The couple is originally from Cottonwood, Arizona.

They later moved to Indiana with their kids and were hoping to move back home, to Arizona, in December.

Though, that plan is currently on hold.

"I just hold my husband's hand, and that's it. He's on the breathing tube right now. That's what this is, and he's got the NG tube in his nose. The things hooked up to his head right now is to monitor how many times he moves per hour," she said.

She says this treatment is costly, and the stack of medical bills coming their way keeps growing.

"They had him on an ECMO machine for four days and that's about 10 grand a day to run."

Which is why they're desperately trying to raise money to pay for a lung transplant for Josh.

"Or whatever his private insurance doesn't cover," Kunze told ABC15.

Here's her message for those hesitating to get the vaccine.

"I thought it was a joke...some conspiracy. You know. And obviously, it's not, because my husband is laying right here next to me. I wish that I had prioritized the vaccine," she said while wiping her tears.

As for Josh, this is what she wants her high school sweetheart to know.

"I love you. I want you to get better. I want you to stay strong. And I want you to come home," Kunze told ABC15.

Click here, for information on how you can help the Kunze family.