She Lost Her Sister to COVID-19. Her Warning for Families This Holiday Season: ‘Choose Survival’



By christinalieffring

November 12, 2020

Sister of beloved Bay Port teacher, Heidi Hussli, who died of COVID-19 believes she contracted it at their mother’s funeral. She was 47 years old.

When Heather and Heidi Hussli’s mother died, the funeral home said they could hold a traditional funeral with COVID-19 precautions. 

A few days later, Heather came down with COVID-19 symptoms as well as her brother-in-law. A few days later, Heidi had symptoms that were significantly worse than everyone else’s.

“Her cough was absolutely horrendous,” Heather said. “She had to go to the hospital. She didn’t really want to go. She said if she did, she wouldn’t come home.”

Heidi’s premonition was right. After a few days on oxygen, the doctors decided she needed to be intubated and recommended she call her family and say her goodbyes.

“We all got to say goodbye, which was so hard because we didn’t get to be there,” Heather said. “That remains hard, always.”

After a few more days, the doctor said he did not see any signs that her condition was improving. Out of respect for Heidi’s wishes not to remain on life support, they decided to turn her ventilator off. Heather said she would be forever grateful for the nurses that held her sister’s hand at that moment, “because we couldn’t.”

“I’ve never felt that kind of pain,” she said. “And not having my mother here…”

Heidi Hussli was only 47 years old and a beloved German teacher at Bay Port High School in Brown County. The school had a memorial where students left notes and memorabilia that Heather said allowed the family to learn more about who Heidi was as a teacher.

“It’s all about reinventing and reevaluating how you do things traditionally,” she said.

Heather did not appear on camera to give her testimony at the virtual press conference where she spoke, but she frequently paused, collected herself and apologized for crying while telling her story. 

She said she went through it because she wanted people to take the conference’s message seriously about the consequences of getting together with family this holiday season. She advocated that people should, “choose survival,” or so they can hope to see their loved ones again some day.

“I’ll never get to see her again,” Heather said. 


CATEGORIES: Coronavirus


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