Labor of love: Husband builds safe space for wife who's allergic to everything
MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) - On Valentine's Day, there's probably no better example of love and commitment than that of Scott and Johanna Watkins.
In November, Fox 9 shared the couple's story and explained how Johanna is very sick; she is allergic to everything, including her husband, forcing her to live alone.
THE STORY: Johanna is allergic to everything, including her own husband
Since that time, Scott has been building a new space for Johanna.
It's been a long, tiring year for Scott, a second grade school teacher. But, the love he has for his wife is unwavering and seems to give him some sort of energy level that most of us can't even imagine. It has finally paid off - his incredible labor of love is now complete.
Scott spent more than a year renovating a home in south Minneapolis so that he has an apartment upstairs and Johanna has a safe haven downstairs. Johanna's new space has new paints, new floors and new furniture -- all of it heated to kill any scents as smells make her very sick.
Scott has also made sure Johanna's room is pressurized, like an airplane. It uses a homemade, positive-pressure system that aims to keep her air scent-free and allergen-free.
Moving day was intense and emotions were scattered. The move had to be quick. Johanna's safe space in the old home had to be pulled apart, and she was getting sicker by the minute.
Too weak to walk on her own, Scott had to carry his wife to the car for the five-minute ride to their new place. Once at the new house, he handed her off to her siblings and left.
But, the wish that Johanna would suddenly get better was not granted.
To her, the bathroom pipes smell so bad she has to sleep away from it, and she's fighting to stay out of the emergency room.
But, Scott does believe that one day they will be together again. Until that time though, both Scott and Johanna seem to find their own kind of happiness and a love that transcends every barrier that life has put between them.
As of Tuesday night, Johanna remains very sick, too sick to even Facetime or interview like she was able to do in November. Her husband and family are hopeful that she will adapt and improve, but believe it will just take a very long time.
Follow the Watkins' story on their GoFundMe page.