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'Still fighting for his life': 42-year-old Utahn battles coronavirus on life support

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42-year-old Utahn battles coronavirus on life support, wife asks others to think of their loved ones. (Photo: KUTV)

A 42-year-old Grantsville man with no underlying health conditions is fighting for his life after contracting coronavirus.

His wife shared their story tonight, wanting other families to see why social distancing and quarantine can be so important.

“The distancing for a short time is so minimal compared to the heartache that people can be dealing with," said Rayna Christensen, as she self-quarantines at home while her husband, Justin, is in the hospital.

After taking their first-ever family vacation to California, Christensen said her husband came down with what they thought was a cough. She told 2News:

“I honestly never thought he would be this bad. It’s hit him so hard."

Justin is just 42, with no underlying health conditions. But the cough quickly got worse. He eventually tested positive for COVID-19.

“My husband's oxygen level was so low that they admitted him to the local hospital," she said. "They were checking his oxygen levels, and they just kept plummeting and getting worse."

Justin was taken to a hospital near their home in Tooele County. But as his condition got worse, he was transferred to University of Utah Medical Center.

His condition progressed from a cough, to being put on life support.

"He's still fighting for his life," Christensen said.

Chirstensen hopes her husband's story will remind people how important social distancing is, while she remains unable to be with Justin in the hospital, which has been incredibly hard.

It's been incredibly hard "to not physically be able to be in there, and hold his hand, and tell him I love him," she said.

She says she’s taking things one day at a time, but not having answers for her kids is especially difficult.

“He keeps asking me, 'When is dad coming home?' And I don’t have the answer to that," she said of her son.

For her fellow Utahns, Christensen says stay home, and take advantage of the time you have together.

“Remember to tell them that they love them, because those words and those moments are so valuable right now, and that’s something that’s not afforded to us right now."

She doesn’t know what the next few days or weeks will hold for her and her family.

“If that’s all I can do, I just ask people to pray."

Rayna is a stay-at-home mom ,and Justin is the sole breadwinner for their family. She says her husband is a truck driver, who would usually be working right now to get the goods people need onto store shelves. She’s not sure what the future holds for her family. Friends have started a GoFundMe page to raise money for the family.