Wife, mother remember Farmington man who died from coronavirus
Coronavirus: 6 tips for staying healthy Wochit
Man was a department manager at Home Depot
FARMINGTON — Alison Keeswood received an urgent phone call on April 15, from the Albuquerque hospital where her husband, Vladimir Keeswood was being treated for the coronavirus.
She was told her husband wasn't going to make it.
She said couldn't believe it at first, but she raced down to the University of New Mexico Hospital as fast as she could.
She got to see him for about 30 minutes before he died, so he wasn't alone.
"I was okay at the moment ….. I had a couple of hours to prepare but I don't think I really understand it," Alison said to The Daily Times. "I wanted to call him yesterday for something, but I couldn't do that."
Vladimir lived with his wife in Farmington and was a department manager at the Home Depot. Vladimir along with coworker Davis Begaye, are two Home Depot employees who have died from COVID-19.
Alison and her husband's mother, Earlinda Keeswood, spoke to The Daily Times about Vladimir's life, how he struggled with his symptoms and his wife's recovery from her own positive case of coronavirus.
A sweet, considerate man
Alison was a senior at Shiprock High School when she met sophomore Vladimir, noting he was shorter than her but he was very confident in himself.
It was during a band trip to Flagstaff, Arizona, that he made his move.
"He walked up to me and put his arm around me and said, 'How you doing?'" Alison said.
They were married for 11 years, but would have been together 20 years at the end of October.
Alison said her husband was a very happy man and, while he looked like a tough guy, he was very sweet and considerate.
Earlinda described her son as very calm and said he didn’t complain much. She encouraged him to go back to school but Vladimir would tell her he loved working at Home Depot.
He was a manager who moved from department to department, from paint to flooring to lumber, during his nine years at the Farmington location.
“We’re just heartbroken over the loss of our associates and friends, and our hearts go out to their families," Home Depot Spokesperson Sara Gorman said to The Daily Times.
The Farmington location has made great strides to protect their associates and customers and took time to notify all employees of Vladimir's death, according to Gorman.
Vladimir was very concerned of contracting COVID-19, taking time to research if he was actually considered an essential employee.
He started to feel ill before he was admitted to Northern Navajo Medical Center in Shiprock on April 5 with flu-like symptoms.
Vladimir called a COVID-19 hotline before being admitted. Alison remembers him being told he had allergies or the flu, but not the coronavirus.
She believes he had shortness of breath and a terrible cough.
Vladimir was airlifted to UNM hospital on April 7 and was tested a second time for COVID-19 — and the test was positive.
He died on his 35th birthday, on April 15. The week before Vladimir died was the longest he and Alison were separated since they got married.
"It was devastating. It still is devastating," Alison said. "It was always just me and him."
She tested positive for COVID-19 about five days after her husband did.
Alison only had a fever once and was able to take over-the-counter medicine to handle the symptoms. She never had difficulty breathing but she lost her sense of smell.
Vladimir was buried next to his younger brother, Jarrad Keeswood, in the Shiprock Cemetery.
Alison knows she's not the only one going through the death of a loved one due to the coronavirus.
"It's a terrible, terrible disease. He was young and healthy, it just happened," Alison said. "It's just something that happened, and I pray it doesn't happen to anyone else."
She is very thankful for all the healthcare workers who tried to save her husband's life.
Read more Farmington coronavirus news:
- Mandatory lockdown quiets city of Gallup amid coronavirus pandemic
- New Mexico blocks roads into Gallup as coronavirus cases surge
- Here are the latest coronavirus updates from San Juan County, Four Corners region
- The PRC is considering ways to address the impacts of coronavirus on regulated utilities
Alison wrote a note on Vladimir's GoFundMe page on April 19, thanking people for their contributions. She ended the note with a plea to the community.
"Please hold your loved ones close, not physically but spiritually, because you will never show them you love them enough."
Donations can be made to the GoFundMe Page at https://bit.ly/keeswood or through Zelle at 505-860-8430.
Joshua Kellogg covers breaking news for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627 or via email at email@example.com.
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