A couple married for 46 years have been through a lot of ups and downs together — including, most recently, COVID-19 and cancer.
Robert and Janice Beecham almost didn’t get to celebrate their anniversary together this year after Robert began experiencing coronavirus symptoms in February and was soon hospitalized.
The illness was a particular blow, given that Janice had health issues herself, and was about to undergo chemotherapy following surgery for breast cancer.
Big deal! Robert and Janice Beecham just celebrated their 46th wedding anniversary
When Robert was hospitalized for COVID-19, Janice couldn’t see him. She said: ‘I’ve always been there for him through everything. I didn’t want him alone’
Robert’s symptoms started in late February, he told Good Morning America. His lungs were congested, he had chills, and he lost his sense of taste.
At the hospital, he tested postitive for COVID-19.
‘The night [before I was diagnosed], I prayed because I was so sick. I told God I was ready to come home,’ Robert, who has previously suffered a stroke, said.
Janice, meanwhile, could have used some comfort. After her breast cancer diagnosis, she’d just had surgery and was awaiting her first chemotherapy treatment when her husband got sick.
‘I started crying hysterically because I was like, “I got to get to this man,”‘ she said. ‘I was trying to explain to [the hospital staff], “I’ve always been there for him through everything.” I didn’t want him alone.’
Better: Robert recovered, and was soon home with Janice, who is undergoing treatment for breast cancer
Though Janice couldn’t visit because of the pandemic, Robert had good doctors taking care of him, including Dr. Satyam Nayak.
Robert confided in Dr. Nayak how important it was that he be home with his wife for their anniversary on April 15.
‘You could close your eyes, and the way they talk about each other, you could feel the love,’ Dr. Nayak said.
So as Robert got better, Dr. Nayak came up with a plan to get Robert home, quarantining him in the spare bedroom and bathroom for 14 days.
He’d still be able to see and talk to his wife through a window, and Janice could sit on the patio outside.
‘I was so glad to see him. My heart was happy,’ Janice said when Robert got home after a week in the hospital. ‘When you’re together all the time, it’s hard when someone is not there.’
Robert even called to thank Dr. Nayak on his anniversary — which the doctor said left him in tears.