Wichita radio host loses wife, ‘his superpower,’ after battling COVID-19

Published: Oct. 11, 2020 at 11:38 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - KFDI Radio Host JJ Hayes announced on Friday night his wife, Michelle, died unexpectedly following her battle with COVID-19.

“She was kindness, she was compassion, and she was empathy,” Hayes said. “She was my superpower.”

His superpower, as he called her, had been in the hospital fighting COVID-19 for a month. At times she was on a ventilator. She had made a recovery, and about a week and a half ago she was finally able to go home.

“She was doing as well as could be expected,” Hayes said. “She was still very weak from being in a hospital bed for 30 days.”

Hayes said with the help of physical therapy, Michelle was growing stronger by the day.

“She was telling us about how she was really proud of how well she had done in her physical therapy and how she was making strides,” Hayes said. “She was bound and determined to make church service this Sunday.”

But then the unexpected happened Friday night as they were getting ready for bed.

“She sat up to take her medicine and she took one final deep breath,” Hayes said. “Her eyes rolled back in her head and that was it. I tried to revive her.”

The ambulance rushed Michelle to the hospital. Within 10 minutes, she had passed away.

“It just seemed like it was all completely ripped away at the last minute and God had a different plan for her,” he said. “I’m having to lean very deep into that faith of mine to believe she was needed more by his side then by mine.”

Hayes said the doctors don’t know exactly what killed Michelle, but that it could’ve been a blood clot. With type two diabetes and a kidney medication for a transplant that suppressed her immune system, she did have preexisting conditions.

Hayes said those didn’t kill her.

“Her type 2 diabetes and antirejection meds were giving her a good, quality life,” he said. “She was stable and living her best life. That didn’t put her in the hospital, that didn’t kill her, COVID-19 killed her.”

He wants her memory to serve as a reminder for all of us to do our part to protect ourselves and one another from the virus.

“I beg of you, as we move forward, as numbers go up, you might reconsider for your fellow human beings,” Hayes said. “Just wear a mask.”

If you’d like to express your sympathy, in lieu of flowers, Hayes said you can make a donation in Michelle’s honor to the Wichita Animal Action League.

Her memorial service will be streamed live on the College Hill United Methodist Church’s Facebook page on October 24th at 9 am.

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