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Coronavirus: La Cañada Flintridge Man Finds Partner Dead After Telehealth Doctors Declined Visit

STUDIO CITY (CBSLA) — A 60-year-old La Cañada Flintridge woman died in her sleep from complications of the novel coronavirus, and now her partner is speaking out in hopes that people will stay at home to stop the spread.

"She was just a very special exuberant person," Craig Shipley said of his partner Sharon Seiler.

Shipley said it all started with a cold and then she developed a high fever and a bad cough. He said he was experiencing similar symptoms, but not as severe.

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The couple decided to use a health app to set an appointment with a telehealth doctor.

"We found a doctor and they named the doctor and they say this doctor is gonna call you," Shipley said.

The couple received a call an hour later, but it was not the relief they were seeking.

"You're thinking it's the doctor," Shipley said. "You pick it up and it's a recording that says the doctor has decided not to visit with you at this time."

After several attempts, Shipley said they were overwhelmed and frustrated with the system, so the couple decided to rest.

"Her hand was on my shoulder, and I reached over and grabbed it and it kind of felt cold," Shipley said. "And I turned the light on and looked and she wasn't breathing."

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Seiler died early Monday morning. She was generally healthy, worked out and had no known underlying medical issues. An autopsy confirmed she died from complications of COVID-19.

Shipley was never tested, but has been ordered to self-isolate — leaving him to mourn the death of his loved one alone.

"I don't have a lot of friends, and friends of hers, that would have come over," he said. "A big part of getting through this is all the interaction between the people that love you and that loved her and that's all sort of pushed to the side."

It's still unknown how Seiler contracted the illness, but Shipley said he hopes that sharing his story will inspire people to stay at home.

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