‘It seems like I’m living a nightmare’: 46-year-old Danville personal trainer dies from COVID-19

‘Going home is terrible...I’m waiting for him to walk through the door’ says his wife

DANVILLE, Va. – A young, healthy Danville man became a victim of COVID-19 within weeks of his positive test.

Chris Henderson, 46, died on Oct. 4. He was a personal trainer before his death and leaves behind his wife, Danielle.

“Going home and being at home is terrible," Danielle Henderson said. "It seems like I’m living a nightmare and I’m waiting for him to walk through the door.”

The Hendersons both tested positive for COVID-19 in mid-September. Danielle said her struggle with the virus added an overwhelming physical pain to the emotional pain of watching Chris’s last days.

“I knew he was really sick, but I was also so sick," Henderson said. “Physically, for me, it was the hardest two weeks I’ve had in my 40 years.”

Chris was hospitalized at SOVAH Health in Martinsville, but was transferred to the UVA University Hospital in Charlottesville when his symptoms got worse. Chris died there, with Danielle by his side.

“As a hospice nurse, that was the most important thing for me," Henderson said. "I did not want my husband to die alone.”

The grieving continued at Henderson’s funeral on Thursday, where Danielle took a picture of her son standing by Chris’ grave.

“He just kept staring,” Henderson said. “He eventually picked up a shovel and helped bury his father. He stayed right next to him until each person was gone, and they covered the grave with flowers.”

More than 3,000 Virginians have died from COVID-19. Henderson says she is starting to recover from her bout with the coronavirus but hopes her husband’s death reminds people how deadly COVID-19 is.

“Don’t be tough. I would like to think if he went to the doctor sooner, he would still be with us, but I can’t keep going back to that," Henderson said. "This could be anyone’s family.”

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