Syracuse man to family before dying of coronavirus: ‘Pray I make it’


SYRACUSE, N.Y. — August “Augie” Forgensi lay in a hospital mattress at St. Joseph’s Hospital Well being Middle final week, preventing for his life and hoping he would see his household once more.

His household wasn’t allowed on the hospital — and his 5 kids had been at dwelling, in quarantine too — as a result of the 88-year-old Syracuse man had examined optimistic for the coronavirus.

A member of the family not quarantined dropped off an iPad on the hospital with a easy hope: Possibly the hospital would permit them to speak to Augie they usually could possibly be there with him.

With assist of a nurse, Augie spoke together with his household one final time by means of the iPad final Monday.

“Pray that I make it,” Augie instructed certainly one of his daughters, Danielle Forgensi.

“Dad, you bought this,” she replied.

“I really like you,” he stated.

However Augie’s signs — which started with a low-grade fever and aches at dwelling two weeks earlier — continued to worsen. By Friday, a physician known as to inform the household that Augie wasn’t doing properly and he doubtless was going to die.

“All of us wished to be with him,” Danielle Forgensi stated, “however we couldn’t.”

When somebody on the hospital known as to ship the information that Augie — the person on the coronary heart of his household — had died round four a.m. Saturday, they had been instructed somebody on the hospital was holding his hand and sang to him as he was dying.

Members of his household wished to share Augie’s story with hopes of training others about coronavirus — the way it can come out of nowhere and forces households aside from their family members — and the significance of social distancing. In addition they wished to honor him since this virus has modified the best way they will say goodbye to the person who cheered them on, coached them and guided them by means of life.

Members of the family will take turns going into the funeral dwelling Wednesday. A service will probably be live-streamed on-line at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday on the Farone & Sons Funeral House website.

They won’t go to church for a service presently as a result of the church is closed (a Mass will probably be deliberate later). The household will go on to Woodlawn Cemetery.

“Folks want to concentrate on how actual that is,” stated Danielle Forgensi, certainly one of his 5 kids. “It could possibly occur to anybody.”

Augie had some underlying well being points, together with bronchial asthma, however total was pretty wholesome and impartial, his daughter stated. At his final checkup, a physician instructed him he may dwell till he was 100, Danielle Forgensi recalled.

On March 17, Augie began to not really feel properly. He was achy and had a low fever, however figured it was a standard sickness. He took Tylenol and rested, his daughter stated.

Two days later, March 19, the physician instructed he get examined for coronavirus. Danielle Forgensi stated she drove her father to an pressing care heart close to Fayetteville to get examined.

The check got here again optimistic for coronavirus two days later.

The Onondaga County Well being Division ordered Augie and his kids to quarantine. County employees dropped off masks and a thermometer at every relations’ doorsteps. They got three cellphone numbers to name, and well being division officers known as twice a day to examine on how they had been doing, Forgensi stated.

On March 25, Augie was nonetheless feeling in poor health when he fell in his bed room. An ambulance took him to St. Joseph’s Hospital Well being Middle in Syracuse.

His household describes the following week and a half as a curler coaster trip. Some days they thought he’d be OK; different days they felt helpless, wishing they could possibly be by his aspect.

In addition they puzzled, “why him?” Forgensi stated.

The household nonetheless doesn’t know the place or how Augie contracted coronavirus. He typically went to the shop or visited his spouse’s grave on the cemetery, however in any other case stayed dwelling.

“He was a candy, loving, household man,” Forgensi stated.

Augie was born and raised on the North Facet of Syracuse, coming from a household with Sicilian roots. He was an solely youngster; his father was a mason and his mom cleaned places of work, Forgensi stated.

After attending North Excessive, he served two years as a cook dinner within the U.S. Military, then met his future bride, Dolores, at a buddy’s home when he was in his 20s, his daughter stated. Augie and Dolores had been married 59 years. She died in 2016 after a quick sickness.

The couple raised their 5 kids in Syracuse’s Eastwood neighborhood.

Danielle Forgensi stated she remembers her father as strict, but in addition all the time there for his household. He coached her Eastwood ladies softball staff and could possibly be stern, but it surely was as a result of he didn’t need to present favoritism, she stated. On the identical time, Forgensi stated, she is going to all the time bear in mind how her dad loaded all of the gamers into his pickup and drove them to Pleasant’s for ice cream.

Augie cheered on his two sons who performed soccer and all three of his daughters who had been cheerleaders for the Eastwood Bears. He spent 46 years repairing equipment at Crouse-Hinds, attended Mass at Blessed Sacrament Church in Syracuse and was a member of the American Legion Eastwood Put up 1276.

As he acquired older, Augie “softened up” and loved being a grandfather and great-grandfather, Forgensi stated. He noticed his kids daily and remained impartial till he fell in poor health to the coronavirus 2 half weeks earlier than his loss of life, she stated.

Forgensi, a first-grade instructor within the Syracuse Metropolis Faculty District, stated she and her siblings had been in a compulsory quarantine till the day after their father died. Even now, she continues to get textual content messages from the county well being division asking about her well being. Thus far, Forgensi and a lot of the household have remained wholesome and nobody else apart from her dad has examined optimistic, she stated.

Forgensi desires the general public to hearken to the warnings and take precautions in order that they don’t should undergo what her household has needed to undergo and to allow them to keep wholesome.

“Watch out,” she stated. “Social distancing does matter. This isn’t a joke. You’re not invincible. It may occur to anybody. You might be wherever and get it.”

August “Augie” Forgensi obituary

Beneath is a letter Danielle Forgensi plans to learn at her father’s companies Wednesday. She additionally shared this with household and pals on Fb:

Dad … We by no means anticipated so that you can go away this manner. You had been a wholesome man. We thought you’d dwell to be 100. However God had a unique plan. Though our hearts are damaged that you’re now not with us right here on Earth, we all know that you’re joyful in Heaven with the love of your life, Mother. You had been and all the time will probably be our hero and one of the best dad anybody may ever ask for. Please know that though we couldn’t bodily be by your aspect as you had been preventing this battle, our hearts and prayers had been with you each step of the best way. Relaxation in peace with Mother, Dad. I’ll finish with a prayer in honor of our love for you:

A Prayer For My dad

Expensive God,

I gratefully thanks for giving me my Dad.

You have to actually love me, ‘trigger You gave the Greatest you had.

Watch over him & bless him Lord, and preserve him in your care.

And will he really feel my love for him, is my humble heartfelt prayer.

I really like you Dad.

Have a tip or a narrative concept? Contact Catie O’Toole: cotoole@syracuse.com | textual content/name (315) 470-2134 | Twitter | Facebook

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