May. 15, 2020

Mary Kay McConnell Covery

Sheldon Butts called me one day and invited me over to meet his friend, Mary Kay McConnell Covery. They had been friends since they were in the second grade. He thought she had an interesting story to tell.

I headed over one afternoon – she literally lives just blocks away from me – and met up with her and Sheldon. Indeed, she does have an interesting story to tell.

Mary Kay’s husband, Martin, or Marty as he’s known to his friends and family, is 49 years old and, sad to say, terminal. When most people hear that someone is terminal, they think of the elderly, having lived a full life… not someone as young as Marty.

Marty’s primary caregiver is his wife who talked with me about his condition. Although, I did not go in to meet him, I did sit and talk with Mary Kay about his health. Since Marty did not know who I was, I did not want to invade his privacy by imposing my presence in his area of care, so I stayed in the living room and visited with Sheldon and Mary Kay.

He has a slew of health issues that’s taken him to the hospital many times, including to MUSC. He’s had to undergo radiation therapy for a “brain bleed,” he’s had surgeries for a large intestinal bleed and ended up with a colostomy, a well as other serious health problems. He’s had so many different health problems that Marty has grown resistant to most antibiotics.

My heart goes out to them. I did ask how she was managing the bills as Mary Kay is unable to work while taking care of her husband. She’s assured me they have a GoFundMe account set up and have already received a few donations, however, the bills are eating the funds up faster than she can get them.

Their only child is Dalton McConnell and his wife, Alexis. I’ve just recently written about this newlywed couple as a Valentine’s special. We spoke of that, too. I expressed that I love writing about the many people of Georgetown in an attempt to show how we’re all “connected,” in some way and this was a perfect example.

Knowing how ill Marty has been and for how long it’s been going on, I asked if Mary Kay and Marty were able to attend Alexis and Dalthon’s wedding.

Yes, we did go, and just barely,” Mary Kay answered. “Marty had undergone extensive physical therapy. He wanted to be able to walk into the wedding… and he did, but we had to come home soon after. It just tired him out, but we did go.”

Is he still doing physical therapy, even at this stage of his care?” I asked. As I said, being a retired nurse, I fully understood how sick Marty truly is.

Mary Kay shook her head. “No, he says it just tires him out so much.”

What about a prognosis? Did the doctor’s mention how long his life expectancy will be?”

They’ve given him days… just days. He’s still alert and oriented, though, and Hospice will be here, of course, helping me manage his care.” Mary Kay added soulfully.

Just before wrapping things up and leaving, Mary Kay shocked me with more news. Not only is Marty very sick, so is she. She has diabetes and MS. She’s struggling. I have so much empathy, as well as sympathy for this couple.

Sheldon was right, they do have a very interesting story to tell. Thank you, Mary Kay for your time. It was a pleasure to meet you and I will definitely keep both of you in my thoughts and prayers.