‘Ed died of a broken heart’: Oro-Medonte family mourns death of father in nursing home

By: Cheryl Browne, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Barrie Advance
Christy Cachia-Zerygiewicz, 41, is convinced her father-in-law died of a broken heart.
Edward Cachia was 92 when he died last week in a Milton nursing home.
Although he had various health issues, Cachia-Zerygiewicz says Edward  died of loneliness without visits from his family due to the COVID-19  lockdown during the last year of his life.
“Really, Ed died of a broken heart. He was seeing no end to the virus  and he said, ‘when is the next time we’re all going to get together?’  He was so depressed, he didn’t have anything to stick around for,”  Cachia-Zerygiewicz said.
Cachia-Zerygiewicz and her daughter Regan, 11, weren’t permitted into  the home to see Edward, although her husband Tony was allowed to say  his final goodbyes to his father.
She said they walked around Milton and were frustrated seeing people  lined up for coffee without masks on, teenagers in cars not distancing,  and bicyclists zipping by without face protection.
“We had a good cry and my daughter said, ‘I really don’t like people anymore Mom — look at this — it’s not fair’.
“It’s just like, these poor seniors are locked up and have been  locked up for so long and they have nothing else to live for. They can’t  see anybody, and it’s just been too long, way, way, way too long. If  everyone just hunkered down in the beginning, this should be done by  now,” she said.
Cachia-Zerygiewicz is pleading with people to resist buying from  large warehouses unnecessarily because the workers are getting sick  shipping out goods. She worries about a friend who started a Freedom  Rally in Alberta and the consequences of people gathering without masks  or following distancing rules.
“You’re kind of looking at it thinking this is never going to end as  long as nobody is complying. It’s like come on guys, do we not want this  to be over?”
On Thursday, Barrie Mayor Jeff Lehman issued an emergency order to put the brakes on the weekly Freedom Rallies.
“In the interests of public health and safety, I have signed an  emergency order closing Meridian Place. The gatherings that put people’s  lives at risk need to stop,” Lehman said.