GLOUCESTER, Va. – A Gloucester mother of eight lost her battle with COVID-19 after fighting in the hospital for weeks.
News 3 first told you about Dorothy Bayford in mid-September, when she was put on a ventilator. Her husband of 21 years, Brian, stayed by her hospital bed for the past two-and-a-half months as she fought for her life.
Brian told us the couple both got COVID-19 at the same time. He got better, but Dorothy got worse, and she died on November 8.
Now, Brian is devastated and hurting, like so many families that have been impacted by COVID-19.
“We had an amazing, fantastic marriage. We both came from an unusual background,” Brian said.
Brian’s first wife died in a car accident. His three daughters survived the crash, but his first wife did not. Dorothy had two sons; when she and Brian got married, the couple adopted three more children.
Together, Brian and Dorothy had eight children and 18 grandchildren.
Their daughter, Jazzmine Bayford, said Dorothy was a fantastic mom, stepmom and adopted mother who loved everyone all the same, telling us her mother worked hard and loved her country and family.
Brian has given updates on Facebook about Dorothy‘s condition over the past few months, praising the love of his life as she lay in her hospital bed. He said the response from people online was overwhelming, with comments pouring in from 11 different countries and 36 different states.
He said many people were appreciative of the kind words he always had for his bride and said it made them think about how they could be better spouses.
“A great marriage, a great life, a great relationship, a great work ethic - it’s just a choice we make each day," Brian said. "Unfortunately, not everybody makes that choice in the right direction, but everybody’s capable of it."
He said his marriage with Dorothy was built on giving back to each other constantly.
“We just both really appreciated each other, and that’s what makes the difference - appreciation,” Brian said.