Filmmaker Nick Guthe has opened up about his late wife Heidi Ferrer’s gut-wrenching battle with long-haul COVID-19.
Ferrer — a blogger and TV writer best-known for her work on “Dawson’s Creek” — died by suicide on May 26, more than a year after her initial diagnosis.
Guthe has revealed for the first time intimate details of how hard his “beautiful angel” and “amazing mother” fought to save her own life.
“I think she just felt that she was only going to diminish, she was going to lose the ability to walk, end up in a wheelchair, not be able to bathe herself,” he told CNN Wednesday.
Guthe also revealed that last summer, at the onset of his wife’s fatal fight, she suffered with “excruciating and unexplained pain in her feet,” rendering her bedridden by June 2020. She soon developed digestive problems, body aches and a racing heart rate. He said by the end of her battle, in April 2021, she developed neurological tremors, making it impossible for her to sleep for more than one hour at a time.
“She had indicated that if things got really bad she didn’t know how she could continue, she didn’t know how she could keep going,” he told CNN. “And I just kept saying, you know, ‘Just hang on. You know, hang on, medical science is moving at the quickest rate it ever has.’”
Guthe said Ferrer did receive the vaccine in March 2021 with anticipation and hope it would improve her symptoms, but unfortunately it did not.
Guthe explained that although Ferrer was diagnosed with COVID-19, doctors kept looking for other possible causes for her ongoing symptoms. Only after several months of suffering was Ferrer fully diagnosed and referred to a specialized clinic.
The widower implored doctors and patients to take long-haul COVID-19 as seriously as the initial diagnosis — and begged long-haulers to “hang on.”
“I believe that help is on the way — but we need our government to step in now and fund research right away and provide mental health support services for people like her,” Guthe said. “We need to pay attention, and it’s not just about suicide … We have trained people … who are not going to be able to go back to their jobs because they are exhausted, they are bedridden.”
Born in Kansas, Ferrer moved to Los Angeles in the 1980s to pursue acting and wound up studying at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. Eventually, she moved on to screenwriting after famously selling her first spec, “The C Word,” to Academy Award-winning producer Arnold Kopelson, Deadline reported. Ferrer went on to write episodes of “Dawson’s Creek” and “Wasteland.”
In a September post, Ferrer first revealed her battle with the virus.
“In my darkest moments, I told my husband that if I didn’t get better, I did not want to live like this. I wasn’t suicidal, I just couldn’t see any quality of life long term and there was no end in sight,” she wrote at the time on her blog GirlToMom, which she started in 2008 to write about raising a child with progressive infantile scoliosis.
After her death, Guthe paid heartbreaking homage to her: “She fought this insidious disease with the same ferocity she lived with,” he tweeted. “I love you forever and I’ll see you down the road.”
She is survived by her husband; 13-year-old son, Bexon; her mother, Nancy Gilmore; and sisters Laura Frerer-Schmidt and Sierra Summerville.
If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, you can get help by contacting the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.