Pulaski County, Mo. family mourns COVID-19 death

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RICHLAND, Mo. -- The words are difficult for JoAnna Asano to form.

"There's no word in the English language that could tell you what you're going through," said JoAnna Asano.

Last week, Asano lost her husband of 40 years. 68-year-old Vicente Asano passed away from the coronavirus. She said he died alone at the Veteran's Hospital in Columbia away from their Richland, Missouri home.

"I couldn't even hold his hand during his last breath," said Asano.

Asano said she couldn't mourn with her family either because she and her son had COVID-19, too. This was hard for her five children, especially for her daughter Florentina Ryback who lives the closest to her parents.

"It was tough because I couldn't go over to my mom's house because they were quarantined," said Florentina Ryback. "I couldn't support them in any shape or form."

Asano and her son did fully recover. Ryback said her father's kidney failure already meant he couldn't get out much.

"What got him sick is someone who got the virus and didn't get tested," said Ryback. "His is a non-travel case. He didn't go out of the state to get caught with it. He didn't go on a cruise. He didn't go out of the country."

Vicente still contracted the virus and Asano wants this to be an example on why it's important to stay at home so other families won't be living in this nightmare.

Asano said the last words she said to her husband was "I love you."

"People need to tell that and mean it from your heart," said Asano.

Asano said her husband was cremated and they're holding off on any kind of memorial until this passes so the whole family can be together.