Evelyn and Bill Allcorn. Courtesy photo

Evelyn and Bill Allcorn. Courtesy photo

‘Don’t assume it can’t happen to you’

Federal Way resident Evelyn Allcorn shares story of her husband’s battle with COVID-19 after he tested positive on March 28.

Evelyn Allcorn’s husband, Bill Allcorn, was showing signs of recovery the week of March 23.

She took to social media, providing an optimistic update about Bill’s status and writing a heartfelt thanks to the first responders and medical personnel.

Just a few days later, Bill’s test results came back positive for COVID-19 and his symptoms worsened.

Now, he is on a ventilator in the intensive care unit of St. Joseph’s Medical Center in Tacoma.

“It just seems so surreal,” said Evelyn, a Federal Way resident. “We went from being elated, thinking it had been a miracle, to being totally deflated.”

On March 25, Bill started feeling achy, and had a headache and a low-grade fever. These were all the symptoms similar to coming down with the flu, but overall he was doing OK, Evelyn said.

Bill, 71, has high blood pressure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). He also uses a walker for mobility and has undergone half a dozen back surgeries.

Because of this, he was extremely careful about not going to grocery stores or being around large crowds in fear of contracting the virus.

“We’re not sure how or where he picked it up,” Evelyn said. “That’s one of the scariest things. We have no clue.”

On March 26, Bill was tested for COVID-19 with results expected three to five days later. That evening, he had difficulty getting out of bed and Evelyn called 911 for first responders to help him up off of the floor. After a recommendation from their healthcare provider, he was transported to St. Joseph’s.

Bill’s test results returned as positive on March 28, although his temperature was lower, he was off oxygen and was doing “very well,” doctors told Evelyn.

“Trying to predict how [the virus] is going to react is difficult,” Evelyn said.

While he was in stable condition throughout the weekend, his fever returned and even on 100 percent oxygen, doctors were not able to get Bill’s blood oxygen levels to rise. He was placed on a ventilator on March 31.

Evelyn, their kids and other family members FaceTimed Bill on March 31, but have not seen him in person since he was transported to the hospital.

Not being able to see Bill and knowing he is going through this alone have been the hardest parts, Evelyn said.

“We’ve left it in God’s hands,” she said. “All we can do is pray and take the wonderful support we’ve been given.”

Because of her father’s Navy career, Evelyn grew up between San Diego and Hawaii, and eventually settled in the Bay Area in California.

“It’s just amazing how people from completely different walks of life, and not even in the same area, are brought together,” she said.

Evelyn and Bill have been married for 46 years, having met at church in San Jose, California, when Evelyn was 19. The couple and their four kids have lived in Federal Way since 1990.

“He’s a tough guy,” said Evelyn, now 66. “He’s made it through some amazing things.”

Bill, who originally grew up in New Mexico, has a history of back problems and multiple surgeries, the most recent due to when he was rear-ended by a drunk driver coming home from work in 2010. The following year, he had three reconstructive back surgeries in one week, fusing rods to bones in his back.

After recovering in a hospital for six weeks, Bill was unable to use his legs, so he used a wheelchair, but continued his physical therapy exercises to regain strength and mobility.

“I came home from work one day and there he was standing,” Evelyn said. “He doesn’t give up…He has just beaten the odds so many times.”

Although, some of the greatest challenges Bill has overcome are not physical.

While on a paper delivery route with Bill in 1991, their oldest son Scott died after he fell and hit his head while jumping back into the minivan.

“He felt a lot of guilt over our son’s accident,” Evelyn said. “He overcame that as well.”

Evelyn is now on a 14-day quarantine period and doing what she can to decompress, leaning on those who are supporting their family and praying for her husband’s health.

“I just want him home,” she said.

Evelyn’s message to the community is simple, but spoken with a dire firmness:

Stay home and don’t put yourself, your family or others at unnecessary risk.

“Don’t assume it can’t happen to you,” she said. “We didn’t think it would happen to him.”


In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@valleyrecord.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.valleyrecord.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in Life

Local musicians hold virtual benefit concert for mental health

The stream-a-thon supports NAMI Eastside and nonprofit Hold Your Crown

Medic One Foundation’s Gratitude Meals offer support to first responders, local businesses

The initiative provides hearty lunches to first responders staffing the COVID-19 testing sites as they work to test their colleagues.

UW students create Spira app to gather COVID-19 data

The app was created to screen for respiratory diseases but the teen creators shifted their focus once the COVID-19 outbreak began.

KCLS is stepping up its commitment to patrons

A monthly column about the King County Library System.

Earth Month 2020 and COVID-19

A Waste Management column about caring for the planet and each other.

‘Don’t assume it can’t happen to you’

Federal Way resident Evelyn Allcorn shares story of her husband’s battle with COVID-19 after he tested positive on March 28.

Courtesy photo. Scott Brittain and his son Ryker at Blake’s Pizzeria in Carnation (before state regulations for COVID-19 mandated restaurants switch to takeout only). Scott has been a customer since he was a kid, and now he and his family are still regulars.
In Carnation, Blake’s carries on with carryout

Community supports local pizzeria during COVID-19 pandemic.

Savannah Lynn and Will Chadek in the Second Story Repertory of Redmond’s production of “The Fantasticks.” “The Fantasticks” had been performed three times by the organization until coronavirus concerns resulted in the cancellation of the remaining dates. Photo by Michael Brunk
How is the coronavirus affecting the arts?

Representatives from Eastside arts institutions discuss their experiences.

From left, Kristen Zuray, Wendy Laxton and Tonya Guinn speak at Trail Youth’s 2019 birthday celebration fundraiser. This year their annual event is a banquet scheduled for April 4. Courtesy photo
Trail Youth celebrates a year of coffee, positivity

Trail Youth banquet fundraiser scheduled for April 4.

MSHS jazz band invited to Essentially Ellington for sixth time

MSHS is one of 18 finalists for the prestigious competition

A GoFundMe page has been set up for the Ralphs family after their home along the Raging River was yellow-tagged. Photo courtesy of Friends of the Ralphs Family GoFundMe page
Family of four forced to leave home along Raging River in Preston

Erosion has deemed the house yellow-tagged by King County services.