'I love you, please get better,' Cape Breton mom's message to son in Edmonton ICU with COVID-19

The family of a Glace Bay, N.S. man who's in hospital in Alberta is warning others that COVID-19 doesn't discriminate.

A week ago, 35-year-old Daniel Gonneville was healthy until he tested positive for COVID-19 and now, he is battling the virus on a ventilator.

"I love you … please get better," Amour Gonneville said to her son. "I use to sing him a song when he was a little boy, when he was scared or nervous about anything. I couldn't sing it to him this time, so I texted it to him."

A week ago, Gonneville tested positive for COVID-19, while working in Fort McMurray, Alta.

The next day he was on oxygen, the following night he was put on a ventilator, and then he was flown to Edmonton for intensive care.

His mother can only sit and wait because of health conditions of her own.

"When he wakes up I want him to know that he's okay, that the family is there for him," Gonneville's sister Guylaine Quellette said from Truro.

She will fly to Alberta on Wednesday to be by her brother's side, leaving work and everything else behind.

"The last thing he told my mother before he went on the vent was: 'Mom, I'm scared -- and he's not a guy to be afraid of stuff like that," Quellette said.

Alberta has the highest per-capita case count in Canada and the province's worst hot spot -- is Canada’s oil capital: Fort McMurray – and the surrounding municipality of Wood Buffalo.

"About two months ago, we were at about 12 cases. Now, we're over 1,300 cases," said Wood Buffalo municipal councillor Mike Allen.

Many in Cape Breton and across the country are rallying behind the family with prayers and monetary donations. A GoFundMe page has already raised thousands of dollars.

"His rent is paid, his bills are paid," Quellette said. "He has no worries in the world, except to get better."

Guylaine describes her brother as a big teddy bear who was healthy and strong, and warns others the virus doesn't discriminate.