By Jill Fox
Despite his caution, even holding virtual services since last spring, Rabbi Bradd Boxman of Parkland’s Congregation Kol Tikvah got COVID-19.
A resident of Parkland for 12 years, Rabbi Boxman, 60, said he contracted the virus after spending time visiting his ailing mother, Judy, in the hospital, where they were both unaware she had Covid-19.
Fortunately, Judy, 83, recovered from her illness but later learned she tested positive.
Despite receiving a negative test result, Rabbi Boxman began to have symptoms, including fever, chills, “horrific headaches,” and pain. He confined himself to his room while his wife, Linda, took care of him as best as she could.
But after days of declining health, Linda convinced him to visit Cleveland Clinic.
“My wife is my rock,” he said. “It’s during these times that you realize how much you depend on each other.”
Even though Linda and his daughter had visited Judy in the hospital, they never caught the virus.
Parents to three grown children, the Boxman’s live in the Four Seasons at Parkland. Two of their daughters followed in the rabbi’s footsteps. Ariel, 35, is a rabbi in Naples, and Ashira, 25, is currently in rabbinical school in New York. Their third daughter, Talia, 31, lives in Davie and is a nurse at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital.
Home since January 24, Rabbi Boxman is slowly getting better. His taste is still muted, and his voice has changed, but mostly, he’s just exhausted.
“People go in the hospital and don’t come out,” he said. “Ninety percent of me said I’d get through this, but there was still that ten percent that did not.”
Luckily, he never needed a ventilator, and by day four in the hospital, he turned a corner.
After experiencing the virus first-hand, He feels even stronger about the first responders, nurses, and doctors’ efforts.
“There can’t be enough praise for them,” he said. “God bless the frontline workers.”
He is also grateful for the support from Cantor Arnold, the congregation, and the entire community, who sent cards, letters, food, emails, and flowers. He hopes to return to the virtual world by Friday, even rethinking their plans to reopen the synagogue.
More importantly, he wants the community to know how dangerous this virus is.
“I am a relatively healthy person, and I am grateful to have been able to survive.”
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- Jill Fox is an Emmy Award-winning writer and producer. She has worked in public relations and television for over 20 years. Fox lives in Parkland with her husband and their two children.