TEMPE, AZ — A Tempe woman who once made hand-sewn face masks for the Tempe Police Department at the beginning of the pandemic is now struggling while her husband continues to recover from COVID-19 in the ICU.
Karen and Mike Daum have been married for six years. Karen said her husband is like a big teddy bear.
"He's just a big goofball, basically."
Mike got sick and was admitted to the ICU on February 6. He was put on a ventilator and under an induced coma.
"That kind of guy reduced to one giant sleeping man and tubes everywhere. And I know it's just not my husband. Every room is filled," said Daum.
This week he came out of the coma. Daum said he's weak, but alert, and the road to recovery will be long and difficult.
"COVID ravished his lungs so he'll be on permanent oxygen and it ravished his kidneys, so he'll be on permanent dialysis," she said.
Daum doesn't know how they got infected. She was very sick too but never had to go to the hospital.
"Mike and I were two of the safest people--we didn't go anywhere, people would get mad at us because we wouldn't join them for dinner or whatever-- we were really safe and we still got it," she said.
She hopes people don't let down their guard. She said she doesn't want anyone else to go through this heartache.
"This has changed our lives forever," said Daum. "I beg people to just be safe, it's still there."
It's been emotionally and financially difficult for Daum as Mike was the main source of income and her biggest supporter.
"I have to keep hope alive and faith that he'll come back to me," she said.
You can help the Daum family by donating to their GoFundMe page.