Bobbie and Roy Gomer had been married for sixty years before dying of coronavirus complications
Shawn Schurr lost both of her parents to COVID-19, within 15 hours of each other. Her mother Bobbie Gomer died on May 6th at the age of 79, and her father Roy Gomer died on May 7th at the age of 83.
Roy was a simple man who “never wanted for himself.” As a child, Roy survived two kinds of Polio. “He was five feet, three inches tall with a stubborn disposition that far exceeded his stature,” Schurr said, “and somehow he survived.”
Bobbie was an avid Bridge player. “She was a dynamo,” Shawn said, “The other Bridge players worshiped her.” When the family struggled financially, Bobbie started teaching Bridge to make extra money, and the lessons turned into a business she operated for over 30 years.
The two lived outside Philadelphia, and in late April, Roy was admitted to the hospital to treat injuries from a fall, but upon arrival, he tested positive for Covid-19. A couple of days into his stay, Roy’s breathing rapidly worsened and he was put on a ventilator for the next 13 days.
Bobbie, his wife, also tested positive for Covid-19 after bringing Roy to the hospital. She was initially able to fight her own battle alone at home. “It was just unbearable to not be able to be with her,” Shawn said, “Each day she just got weaker and weaker.”
Soon enough, Bobbie had to be admitted as well. Though no family members were allowed into the hospital as visitors, Bobbie was able to go see her husband because she was also a patient. But seeing Roy on the ventilator was too much.
“When they wheeled her up there, they said, ‘He has a 10% chance of survival,’” Shawn said, “That was her undoing.” At that point, Bobbie began needing more intensive treatment.
“It started with needing an oxygen mask… and then suddenly it [escalated] to death… My mom died and 15 hours later, my dad died,” Shawn said. She could not be with either of her parents in their final moments.
“I think the part of this horror that people need to understand when they act selfishly or are behaving foolishly, is that your loved one should not die alone,” she said.
“The extraordinary pain that people can’t recognize, that I think will end up in some long-term pain for those of us who survived, is to not be there with your loved ones at the end,” Shawn said, “They didn’t even know how to get us my mother’s pocketbook because there’s usually a family member who’s present in a hospital.”
Bobbie and Roy were married 60 years. “They had a very crotchety relationship,” Shawn added, laughing, “but the one thing that they shared was a common love of their family, and that’s what made them laugh.”
Bobbie and Roy are survived by their children, Shawn Schurr and Tod Gomer, along with their four grandchildren.