Husband who survived COVID-19 serenades quarantined wife from his balcony

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CHICAGO — It’s been nearly a month since a Chicago husband and wife have seen one another after both were diagnosed with coronavirus and hospitalized.

John and Julie Aren have been married for more than 30 years and can’t remember a time when they weren’t at each other’s side.

That was until 24 days ago, when they both got COVID-19.

“Both results came back within two hours of each other…Positive, positive,” said John.

Just a day later, he was admitted to Illinois Masonic Hospital.

“I had no idea how much trouble I was in until they hooked me up to five liters of oxygen,” he said “There were some scary nights, scary nights and not everybody made it through.”

But John was one of the lucky ones, released five days later.

“Everything is different when you get a chance to get off of a deathbed,” he said.

John is home now, but still separated from his wife. So he did the only thing he could do. He picked up his trumpet and started playing, serenading his wife who is quarantined down the street.

“Just listening to him and knowing the love he feels for our neighbors and all of us and for me especially makes me feel very supported,” said Julie.

John has been trumpeting his message of love and hope every day in River North for weeks now.

“I get out there and play a positive tune. :’Living on a Prayer,’ ‘Don’t Stop Believing,’ ‘Chicago’s My Kind of Town.’ I just want to instill hope.”


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