PHOENIX (3TV/CBS) - Elaine Victory never imagined when her husband Henry went to the hospital a couple weeks before Christmas, that she'd never see him a again.
"I really thought my husband was coming home. Because my husband was the strongest man I knew," said Victory. "But he didn't."
Seventy-one year old Henry Victory passed away Dec. 17, leaving his wife, 9 children and 32 grandchildren, absolutely heartbroken.
On Friday, Henry's widow fought back tears to talk about what so many Arizona families are feeling after losing a loved one to COVID-19
"It was very hard for me because we've never been alone, away from each other," said Victory. "The Coronavirus just ripped our families apart."
"I can't believe it sometimes," said Victory. "I wake up crying at night and I try to stay strong for our grandchildren. It's just very hard for me."
Victory wants people to know how special her husband was, his caring and kindness, how he loved his family and loved his country, serving in the U.S. Army after going to Tempe High School.
The Phoenix woman said they've been extremely careful during the current health crisis, wearing masks and social distancing, so it's unclear how or where Henry got infected.
She's hoping that by sharing her story it will convince others how important it is to take precautions against COVID-19, to reduce the risk.
"I do not want any other families to go through things my family have gone through," said Victory. "I miss him so very much. He was my best friend and my soul mate."
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the family with funeral expenses.