PHOENIX — A north Phoenix husband and wife fought to keep their business afloat when the pandemic struck the state in March.
The owners of Aiello’s, Charr, and Isa’s pizza restaurants off Seventh Street and Thunderbird Road are now fighting a different foe. One that’s taken the life of more than 1600 Arizonans.
Paper hearts inscribed with messages like we miss you and get well soon, now cover the windows of Aiello’s Italian Restaurant in Phoenix.
“They work together, what 60, 70 hours a week, at least, live together, work together, play together, they’re literally always together,” said Mimi Bauer and Isabelle Aiello.
Partners in life and business, Joe and Myrah Aiello are inseparable. The two are longtime restaurant owners and adoring parents of two daughters, Mimi and Isabelle.
“Ya you always get a goodnight text from him,” said Mimi of her dad Joe.
“Goodnight sweetheart,” interrupted Isabelle.
“Yup,” said Mimi.
The warmth provided by those texts, however, has gone cold. Both Joe and Myrah are now battling the coronavirus, like everything else in life, together. Contracting it after shutting down their restaurants for the second time in three months.
“They obviously were excited for business to start again but, as like everyone is right now, they were scared, they did everything they could, they took tables out of the restaurants, spread everything apart,” said Isabelle.
But despite the precautions, once numbers spiked in June they closed down again.
The plan was to open back up July 1.
Now both Myrah, 54, and Joe, 64, are in the hospital.
“Last Saturday, the doctors and nurses told us that we need to say our goodbyes to our dad and our last words to him, and that was obviously hands down the hardest part of all this,” said Isabelle.
Joe is now on a ventilator. His wife of 25 years, getting a little better every day. The restaurant posted a message to its followers on Facebook this week and the love poured in.
“There’s like hundreds and hundreds of people thinking about them and praying,” said Isabelle.
She says that same day, doctors said her dad’s condition was starting to improve. But there’s no doubt a long battle lays ahead.
They’re urging anyone who will listen to protect themselves and others. To wear a mask and stay home.
All while they pray their parents can continue to beat the odds.
“The doctors didn’t think that he’d make it through last weekend but he did,” said Mimi.
If you would like to donate to the Aiello’s medical expenses click here.