"Seeing you be the best mom to the kids is the greatest thing I’ve ever experienced," Jonathan Coelho wrote in a letter to his wife before he died

By Ashley Boucher
April 23, 2020 11:54 PM

Before Jonathan Coelho, 32, was intubated because of his novel coronavirus (COVID-19) diagnosis, he took out his phone to write a note to his wife and two children.

Katie Coelho, his wife of seven years, discovered the heartbreaking letter after he went into cardiac arrest and died on Wednesday, 28 days after being admitted to the hospital and 20 days after first being placed on a ventilator.

"This morning unexpectedly Jonathan went into cardiac arrest and passed away," Katie shared in a GoFundMe campaign update on Wednesday. "He had been doing significantly better the last few days and we were given a very optimistic prognosis. The nurse told me she has no idea what happened and why."

The GoFundMe campaign's organizer tells PEOPLE that Jonathan was a two-time cancer survivor, having been diagnosed at age 8 and 16. He had been in remission for nearly 20 years, she said, adding that doctors told the family they didn't expect it to cause complications.

"I was able to sit with Jonathan in the ICU after it happened and just sat, cried and told him how much the kids and I loved him," Katie said.

Coelho family
| Credit: Gofundme

"When Jonathan’s phone was returned to me, I turned it on and there was a note up written by Jonathan the day before he was intubated."

She then shared the note, in which the lifelong Patriots fan lovingly wrote about how proud he was of his family.

"I love you guys with all my heart and you’ve given me the best life I could have ever asked for," the father of two wrote. "I am so lucky it makes me so proud to be your husband and the father to Braedyn and Penny."

Coelho family
| Credit: Gofundme

"Katie, you are the most beautiful, caring, nurturing person I’ve ever met.....you are truly one of a kind.....make sure you live life with happiness and that same passion that made me fall in love with you. Seeing you be the best mom to the kids is the greatest thing I’ve ever experienced," Jonathan continued.

The State of Connecticut employee then shared some words specifically for his children, 10-month-old Penelope and 2-year-old Braedyn, who has been diagnosed with a number of health issues including Cerebral Palsy.

"Let Braedyn know he’s my best bud and I’m proud to be his father and for all the amazing things he’s done and continues to do," he wrote. "Let Penelope know she’s a princess and can have whatever she wants in life."

Jonathan Coelho
| Credit: Gofundme

"I’m so lucky...." he wrote again.

Jonathan tested positive for COVID-19 on March 26, and was hospitalized "for observation due to severe breathing issues," according to the GoFundMe.

While the family thought that his stay in the hospital would be a short one, Jonathan ended up having to be intubated.

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"The pain we are feeling is indescribable, our everything was stolen from us," Katie wrote in the GoFundMe Wednesday, adding that her heart is "shattered."

"My kids and I will live the rest of our lives without Jonathan," she said. "And I don’t know how we’re going to do it."

"He was a hard worker with a kind soul," an update in the GoFundMe Thursday said. "Jonathan had a smile that made anyone feel loved, and a hug that made you feel secure."

The update said that Jonathan "loved" the life he and Katie had built together and that his "most cherished accomplishments" were his kids.

Jonathan Coelho
| Credit: Gofundme

"His son Braedyn was born with several medical complexities including cerebral palsy, Jonathan and Katie took such pride in providing Braedyn with therapies 5 times a week and were dedicated to giving him the best services possible," the GoFundMe stated. "Penelope was a complete Daddy’s girl, although she is young her world revolved around her dad, and Jonathan savored every moment he had with her."

"It’s unfair that Jonathan’s time with his family was cut so short. Jonathan only ever wanted to be there for his children and wife and this virus stole that away from him."

"He always greeted everyone with a huge smile and a hug. He loved life and was looking forward to watching his children grow up and growing old with his wife," the GoFundMe said.

In addition to Katie, Penelope and Braedyn, Jonathan is survived by parents Al and Donna Coelho, sisters Christina and Diana, brother-in-law Kevin Mallory, nephews Oliver, Dylan and Mason, and grandparents Alberto and Assuncao Coelho.

As of Thursday, the GoFundMe has raised $172,344 raised of $250,000 goal. 

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