SEMINOLE, Fla. - Throughout the pandemic, Spectrum Bay News 9’s Cait McVey has been sharing stories of those affected by COVID-19 in long-term care facilities. 

What You Need To Know

In the latest piece, 74-year-old Ken Millett of Seminole described his life with his wife of 50 years.  

“I met Ginny in the Peace Corps.  It was just kind of an automatic connection,” Ken said. “She’s really pretty. She’s kind of like a Mary Tyler Moore.  After we had been in Malaysia about four-five months, we got married.”

After their time in the Peace Corps ended, Ken said the couple traveled, most notably exploring the Australian Outback by motorcycle.

“We built up the bike so I could put our sleeping bags and all our clothes and my guitar on it,” Ken said. “And we drove down to Singapore and got on a ship and began our adventure.”  

Eventually, the couple came back to the United States and started a family in Florida, where Ken said their life was still full of love and adventure.

But years later, 77-year-old Ginny Millett was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and Ken had to make the difficult decision to put her into memory care.

“Before she went into the facility, she didn’t recognize herself.  She didn’t recognize me, she didn’t recognize the places we had gone,” Ken said.

“That’s why it was so extremely hard.”

Ken said he had been visiting Ginny six days a week before the pandemic. Then, long-term care facilities were ordered closed to visitors.

“We can’t connect through a window,” Ken said. “I need to be able to put my arm around her. I need to be able to give her a hug. I need to be with her.”

Ken said his wife’s health began to decline even further and just last week, she was put into Hospice Care. 

“I’m very happy that Hospice is going to be helping her, but I also know what that means,” Ken said. “I’m not prepared to say goodbye. When she passes away, my purpose is gone.”

Ken said he was able to finally see Ginny in person, because of her current state. But he said his next visit won’t be until it’s determined her death is imminent.