Family of hospitalized COVID-19 patient: ‘Happy tears,’ seeing him video chat on Thanksgiving

There are seven members of the Pfarr family, but they were not all together making Thanksgiving dinner in Columbia Heights.

“It’s a lot different not having him around, without him getting everything ready to go with us," said Mary Jo Pfarr.

As Duane, the dad of five kids and husband to Mary Jo, remains hospitalized in the Twin Cities due to COVID-19.

“I’m just thanking God, he’s turning around, it’s going to be a long process but in the right direction of good,” Mary Jo said.

It was a much different story just a couple of weeks ago when 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS first introduced you to the family, as Duane was in a medically induced coma, and Mary Jo was trying to recover herself from the virus.

"We’re thinking about you all the time,” Mary Jo said during a video chat with Duane and the kids on Thanksgiving. “We’re praying… a lot of people are praying."

Faith, friends and strangers provide support to family of 7 struggling with COVID-19

“Just seeing him, what does that moment mean, compared when we last talked and he was in a coma,” asked 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS reporter Eric Chaloux.

“It’s a joyful, teary moment, you get tears and stuff, they are happy tears because he’s doing so much better,” Mary Jo said.

Duane wasn’t able to use his voice to speak since he still has a breathing tube, which could come out Thursday, but his eyes instead do the talking for him, his wife said.

“Its different things to be thankful for too, his recovery is going well, so thankful for that… and all the support we’ve been getting from everybody, it’s so amazing," Mary Jo said.

COVID-19 has put a lot of life’s little moments into perspective on this day of thanks.

“I’ve always been thankful for my family that we’ve gotten from God and other people, it’s amazing how thankful you get, for some of the things you take for granted,” Mary Jo said.

Friends have started a GoFundMe page to help the family during the medical ordeal.