MILFORD – As with everything since the coronavirus arrived in Otsego County, things moved quickly.
When the last edition of this newspaper went to press on Tuesday, March 31, the news was state Sen. Jim Seward, R-Milford, and his wife, Cindy, had been stricken with COVID-19.
It was announced the day before that the senator was being treated at Albany Medical Center, and Cindy was recuperating at their Milford home.
Duncan Davie, Seward’s long-time chief of staff, said the senator was still in ICU this Tuesday. April 7. He spoke with the senator, and “he struck me as someone who’s gone through a great deal. He’s got a road to recovery that will take some time.”
After the initial report on March 30, the senator, a Milford native who has represented Otsego County in the state Senate since 1985, took a turn for the worse and was placed on a ventilator in Albany Med’s intensive care unit.
That wasn’t widely known, until Cindy Seward broke the silence at 8:32 a.m. Saturday, April 4, on the Milford Community Group Facebook page. She revealed her husband was in a medically induced coma and had been on a ventilator since 5:30 a.m. that Thursday.
“His condition had deteriorated quite rapidly and became dire,” his wife of 46 years reported. “I spoke with the doctor last evening and Jim is responding to nurse commands and his condition is slightly improved.
“The next few days are crucial,” she continued. “My children and I were able to see him and speak to him once via Webex, thanks to the kindness of the doctors and nurses there.”
That dire report set off a flurry of comments among the Milford group, mostly expressions of prayerful best wishes.
After a day of worry among his friends and supporters, who at this point were expecting the worst, stunning good news arrived with Cindy Seward’s next posting at 6:48 p.m. that evening.
“I just spoke with my husband,” she wrote, “and needed to share with all of you wonderful people who have sent prayers and love: His ventilator was just removed! Of course, he will still need monitoring, but I thank you all for your outpouring for us!”
Which set off another outpouring from around Seward’s nine-county 51st Senatorial District on the Milford page and www.AllOTSEGO.com.
“Praise God for giving you the strength to fight this terrible virus and that strength to continue fighting thru your cancer battle,” wrote Maria Guerra, Richfield Springs.
“Stay strong my friend!” declared Vinnie Avanzato, Oneonta, the former Stella Luna proprietor.
“You are one strong individual,” wrote Norman Buckland, Oneonta. “That’s why we elected you to show us the way. But I never wanted it to be like this. Thank you for hanging in there.”