Coco Austin is doing her best to stay strong after her father, Steve Austin, was admitted to the ICU amid his battle with COVID-19.
“I just want him to pull through,” she told Page Six in an emotional interview Wednesday night. “I’ve been sending as much love as I can but there’s only so much I can do from a distance. I want to be in the room with him right now and hold his hands, and just let him know that his family loves him, to push through, and this is too early for him to go.”
Steve, 63, is battling coronavirus at Abrazo ArrowHead Hospital in Glendale, Arizona, where doctors have told Coco, who has been staying in Arizona, that her dad may have to go on a ventilator because he has pneumonia in both lungs.
“He’s at the point where he can’t even talk,” Coco shared. “He can’t even say a word. For him to say ‘no’ or ‘yes’ is so hard that I have to use texting now, and today he doesn’t even want to text anymore. He’s just getting so frustrated that he’s in this position that he doesn’t want to get on the phone.”
Steve, who has no underlying medical conditions, is being given steroids to help him “feel good,” she said.
The former “Ice Loves Coco” star, who is married to actor and rapper Ice-T, told us of Steve’s condition, “It’s not looking good. I wish I had better results today.”
Coco, 41, said she last saw Steve in Arizona on Father’s Day, when she and a few family members with whom she was quarantining got together to celebrate. She said her dad’s symptoms started that day.
“He was feeling lethargic,” the reality star recalled. “My dad is very much a chattybox. He’s very much a conversationalist and he wasn’t talking that day much, so there was something up that we knew.”
Coco said Steve’s symptoms worsened and he began to experience shortness of breath and feel like pins were “being stabbed throughout his body.” He did not seek medical attention until nine day after Father’s Day, which Coco said was a mistake.
“Knowing what he’s gone through, he let this disease or virus sit in him for nine days before doing anything,” she said. “That’s basically what they say is too late.”
Coco said Steve was quarantining before contracting COVID-19, but doesn’t believe her dad was “the best at the face masks.”
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My, tough as an ox dad, the one that never goes to the doctor, the one that doesn't even take tylenol for pain, the one that never EVER gets sick, where talking about the original Steve Austin (cuz thats his real name) is in the ICU requiring oxygen for #covid19 .. He is having trouble breathing and feels like he is being stabbed with pins throughout his body .. For all the people that say it cant happen to your family..think again ..Sending happy thoughts to my father and all the families that are dealing with it❤ also sending prayers to 2 of my aunts who also have covid seems they all got it at the same time We have a big family, in the 2nd photo is my dad with all his kids Thank you ArrowHead Hospital in AZ for attending to my dad!
“I know my family, in this house, we are very good,” she said. “As a matter of fact, we’ve been having fun with the face masks. I’m coordinating it with our outfits and making it something to be happy about instead of being sad about.”
But, the model added, “I don’t think my dad was a good face mask wearer. I think that’s why he’s in the position he is in right now.”
Coco said it is unclear how her father contracted the deadly virus, and noted that two of her aunts also have the disease. One was also admitted the hospital, and the other is quarantined at home, but feels like she’s “dying.”
“It’s like, ‘Oh my God, like, my family is falling apart,” Coco said. “We’re here thinking we came to Arizona to get away from the craziness in New York and New Jersey, and I feel like we now swallowed it up in the spike that just happened here.”
Earlier this week, Arizona broke the record for the most single-day coronavirus infections in the state with 3,858 cases on Sunday.
On a recent grocery store trip, Coco said she felt like “aliens from outer space” because she was one of a few people wearing masks and gloves while shopping.
She and Ice-T have been quarantined at their second home in Arizona for about a month and a half, and the “Law and Order: SVU” star has spent most of his time playing Xbox or talking to friends on the phone because production for his New York-based show has been halted until at least August or September.
Since the couple, who are parents to 4-year-old daughter Chanel, were exposed to Coco’s dad on Father’s Day, they and the rest of their family are monitoring themselves to see if they also contracted the coronavirus. Aside from Coco’s two aunts and her dad, no other family members have shown symptoms.
“It’s hard to get a test out here when you don’t have symptoms, but I do want to get an antibodies [test],” Coco said. “We’ve been talking about where to go to get that, but it’s so hard.”
Coco and Ice-T wanted to speak up about their personal experience to spread awareness so people will take the virus more seriously.
“I mostly wanted to do this interview to let people know that I didn’t feel like my family could be touched,” Coco told us. “And to know that the most healthy person in this family is about to go on a ventilator, they’re talking about that, which is really hard because I’m pretty much the next of kin. I have a really big family and they put it in my hands to make these decisions, so it’s been really hard to have to even talk about.”
The reality star said she has had trouble sleeping because she has “so much responsibility on my shoulders,” so she has been working out as an escape.
She advised everyone, “Mask it up! How hard is it to mask it up?”
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