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'The COVID Wife': New play explores Colorado couple's experience with critical COVID case

The COVID Wife: Play explores one couple's experience with critical COVID case
Posted at 5:15 AM, Nov 02, 2022

LAKEWOOD — For more than a month of 2020, Suzanne Nepi did not see her husband while he was in the hospital with a critical case of COVID-19.

"A roller coaster of hell," Suzanne remembered about that time. “I was blessed with a very light case, and Mark was handed down a very, very critical case. And so it was our battle.”

On Nov. 1, 2020, Mark was finally recovered enough to be taken off his ventilator. Suzanne was able to see him two days later.

“They really were amazed to see him getting off the ventilator. And they said, 'You deserve to come in. And he deserves to see you,'" Suzanne said. “When they call them the frontline, that's not an exaggeration. The blood, sweat and tears that these folks gave, and what they went through without any rest. They are saints and they are saviors.”

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Once Mark was home and healthy, Suzanne began helping other families with similar experiences. She was told by several people she should find a way to share her story, since it was an inspirational tale of the pandemic.

Now, for more than a year, Suzanne has been writing her first play, based on the experiences her family went through during the height of the pandemic. She titled it The COVID Wife.

“I'm just grateful and blessed to have the opportunity to portray real people, real saviors," said Tanis Joaquin Gonzales, one of the two actors in the play. “We all have a different story, and this story deserves to be brought to the world.”

Suzanne is the other actor in the play, and worked with Director Neil Truglio to bring her vision to life.

“I've never done a play with the subject in the role, which I think is really exciting," said Truglio, who has directed more than 50 plays. “Her story was just so universal. Sounds weird, because it was so specific, what she dealt with, but we've all dealt with COVID — that 2020 time capsule, that I think there isn't a single person on this Earth who didn't relate to it.”

The play opens at the Benchmark Theatre in Lakewood on Nov. 11. Suzanne said the play will run through Dec. 10, and the crew will take Thanksgiving week off. In total, she estimates there will be 15 performances.