Beverly Hospital exterior

Gifts in Memory of COVID-19 Patient Support Caregivers

Family and friends give to hospital in Sandy Krakow’s honor

So many friends and loved ones wanted to attend Sandra Krakow’s funeral over Zoom, the virtual meeting room’s capacity was maxed out. The support of more than 100 people gave Ira Krakow the lift he needed to read his wife’s eulogy after she passed from COVID-19 at Beverly Hospital. Now, Ira is asking everyone who loved Sandy to pay it forward to the caregivers who helped her in her final days.

You could tell from Ira’s voice that he sorely missed his partner of 50 years. “We immediately knew we were each other’s destiny from the get-go,” he told the crowd. 

When he called an ambulance to their Middleton home on March 19, Ira could not have known that Sandy would be Beverly’s first COVID-19 patient. All he knew was that his wife, who suffered from underlying respiratory issues, couldn’t breathe. The last words she spoke to Ira were, “Why me?”

Despite heroic efforts to save her, Sandy passed away on March 27 after eight days in the ICU on a ventilator. “Two people abruptly lost their lives,” Ira said in his eulogy. “One through death, the other because of death.”

But while Ira was devastated to lose Sandy, he also wanted to celebrate her life. Sandy was a mother of two and a registered nurse, first in an OB/GYN unit, delivering babies in Malden. Then she moved into private care. She loved helping people, said Ira, which is why she turned down managerial promotions that would have paid more. Being there for people who needed her was more important. They also traveled the world together — Egypt, Russia, Iceland and countless other places. They made sure to get in as many adventures as they could.

Grateful for the care Sandy received, Ira included a call for donations to Beverly Hospital’s Healthcare Heroes Emergency Response Fund in her obituary. This fund, established at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, pays for supplies and other support for frontline caregivers. “Beverly Hospital is a community hospital,” Ira said. “And the whole focus is on caring for people. It’s wonderful.”