{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "I have an employee who is very sick with COVID (on life support in the ICU). I would like to do something to support his wife; they have 2 young kids & she’s expecting; I’m sure the stress on her is exhausting. Any suggestions for what would be helpful and appreciated? This is more complicated because they were out of town & he was hospitalized out of state, so it is hard for us to get anything to them in person. Also, I’m concerned about his team members and would love ideas to support them", "post_id": "610051e70b4941002a6eebce", "reply_count": 26, "vote_count": 17, "bowl_id": "5e6fe1c31f5e51001d267e46", "bowl_name": "Coronavirus Work-life" }

I have an employee who is very sick with COVID (on life support in the ICU). I would like to do something to support his wife; they have 2 young kids & she’s expecting; I’m sure the stress on her is exhausting. Any suggestions for what would be helpful and appreciated? This is more complicated because they were out of town & he was hospitalized out of state, so it is hard for us to get anything to them in person. Also, I’m concerned about his team members and would love ideas to support them

helpfullike
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Don't make her deal with all the short and long term disability paperwork - to keep the income flowing for now - that would be a huge relief if my spouses employer offered to make that all flow smoothly.

likehelpful

Uber eats gift card so she can order food and not have to worry about cooking. Do you know if they were visiting family or staying in a hotel? Hotel costs could add up so maybe paying for that with points if people have extra they would donate.

likesmart

Awesome suggestions KPMG 1. I got sick early on and my kid was just months old. It was a horrible experience and all I could think about at the beginning was how to help my wife in taking care of the kid and if they had food in the fridge (I was quarantined and stayed upstairs for a few weeks). Luckily friends and family stepped up and brought us all kinds of food. We didn't have to worry about that at all and it made things so much better through all that. They also took turns to come by and help watch the baby while my wife rested. Food and something to distract the kids is killer during tough times. Good looking out OP.

Full sick leave even after short term disability leave ends for time to recover. Reassurance that the employees job is protected and they have a place to return to when they get better. Resources for mental health. Assistance with copays or out of network medical costs. Should the employee pass away, employer provided support if life insurance wasn’t offered prior. Oh and a Snoo baby bassinet it a night nurse for when the baby is born. It will help if she needs an extra set of hands (is husband is still sick/unavailable) or help rocking baby to sleep at night. You could also provide cost reimbursement for a nanny or babysitter so she can go to the hospital alone with him. Lots of hospitals still aren’t allowing kids in there.

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Lots of great ideas in here - just wanted to say how sorry I am to read this. I hope he pulls through and is able to see his kids grow up. Absolutely heartbreaking.

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- Taking care of any leave paperwork required internally so employee/ family members don’t have to deal with that on top of everything. - Assuring employee and family members that his/her job will still be there to alleviate that stress. There is so much research to suggest that outcomes are improved for serious illnesses when patients are less stressed and wholly focused on healing mentally. - UberEats/ Cash/ Visa like everyone else has suggested to take care of immediate expenses for the next few weeks at minimum. Also want to say how refreshing it is to see an executive at your level so keenly interested in welfare of an employee like this! Gestures like this are small but so meaningful. I’m sure you’re fostering a great work culture OP, please keep it up!

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C1 - thank you for your suggestions, they are very helpful! And thank you for the feedback. I’ve been with my firm 22 years. I personally suffered a miscarriage during my first tax season, 3 days before the business deadline and the firm partners sent me home, told me that the firm would figure it out or file extensions, but to take care of myself. It’s why I stayed despite other opportunities along the way. I’m committed to maintaining that “firm is family” culture; despite being 5 times the size we were 20 years ago.

upliftinglike

I had an employee in ICU for 2 weeks and luckily they’ve recovered now, but were out for months. We did food delivery / cards / took care of all the STD paperwork

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Thank you this is helpful

Reaching out individually to team members about how they're holding up and discussing how they're doing generally would be a kind and thoughtful gesture. Just tell them you want to check in and see how they're doing, maybe catch up? (do not just message them "hey do u have time for a call" - with uncertainties in covid times I'd be worried if no context is given)

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Also. I would offer to check on their house. If they thought they would be gone for a short time, their grass is probably super high along with all the mail. Also, everyone loves food. Gift cards for the mom to get good at the hospital or send food to the grandparents house for 1 less worry. Sometimes, someone just asking and acting like they care, goes a long way.

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STA1 - thank you! Such great insight, I will check to see what the situation is at their home here

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If anyone is still seeing this thread and interested in updates; today is 5 weeks since this employee went to the hospital and day 30 of him being on a ventilator. Things were super scary 2 weeks ago and he was maxxed out on all settings and they were looking for an ECMO bed anywhere in about 20 states to send him to, but even if they had found one, he wasn't stable enough to transport. In a strange miracle both his lungs collapsed from the vent pressure being so high for so long and they had to place chest tubes. Those tubes actually seem to be the key to him stabilizing as they relieved pressure on the lungs and he has started to slowly improve this week. In the last few days they've been able to reduce his sedation and he’s been able to communicate with his wife (non-verbally). He still has a very long way to go and they anticipate he will be on the vent for at least a few more weeks and will need to re-learn to walk. Thank you to all of you for your suggestions on supporting them - we've incorporated a number of them into what we are doing and it's been very appreciated.

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Damn, glad he’s doing a bit better and hope he pulls through.

A Visa gift card would be lovely just so she could have cash in pocket for miscellaneous expenses. I also second Uber Eats/Doordash, or even Amazon. These are the kinds of things that are truly helpful when you’re facing such a terrible situation. Good on you for showing compassion ❤️

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Did that person get vaccinated?

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Damn, sorry to hear. Really hoping I can encourage my sister to get vaccinated.

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Any updates on your co-worker?

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STA1 - still not doing well. A few days ago they found mold growing on his lungs (if you Google “Covid Aspergillosis” you can read about this terrifying co-morbidity happening in severe cases). On the positive side he finally went fever free yesterday; however the doctors have told his wife at this point if he makes it, it is almost certain he will have permanent lung damage.

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Maybe see what they may need post baby. That can be tough on one parent and three kids. Also, if she’s not vaccinated - someone can offer to drive her to get vaccinated if doctors agree it’s okay

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