Photo of Jermaine Ferro, courtesy of NBC-2 News.

From Mrs. Ferro’s online obituary:

Jermaine Passed away March 5, at the age of 77. Wife of Sal. Mother of Brett and Ted. Grandmother of Gwendolyn, Owen, Emil and August. Jermaine was a friend to all who lit up any room she was in. She excelled at every craft she put her mind to and had the greenest of green thumbs. She loved fishing, knitting, reading mysteries, and the music of Bob Dylan. 

From public data sources and other news sources online, including Fort Myers News-Press, the New York Times, ABC-7, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, and the Florida Department of Health.

Jermaine became the first recorded death in Florida related to complications of COVID-19. She first felt sick in late February, records show.

Her husband, Salvatore, fell ill not long after, was placed on a ventilator and fell into a coma for nearly five weeks.

When it looked like he wouldn’t survive, doctors called some of his kids and told them to say goodbye. They took him off the ventilator, but, surprising everyone, he started breathing on his own, Salvatore said.

“I was a miracle.”

The couple had an inspiring, yet tragic love story.

The couple first dated when they were both living in Brooklyn and both 20 years old, 57 years before they’d end up getting married.

When Salvatore left for the Army, the two “went our separate ways,” Salvatore said.

Jermaine started a family in New York; Salvatore started one in Florida.

From the News-Press article:

After Sara’ passing, Salvatore said he took a trip to New York in 2018 from Florida to complete his “bucket list,” he said. While he was there, he Googled Jermaine — the woman who “still had a little place” in his heart.

He found her.

“Ironically, she was divorced,” he said. “She was surprised. She said when are you coming around? Every 50 years? I said yeah, you know, I was thinking about you.”

When it was time for him to return to Florida, Jermaine followed.

“She said I was her first love,” Salvatore said. “It was one hell of a love story.”

Jermaine’s son had her cremated and taken back to New York, Salvatore said.

“I never got to say goodbye,” he said. “I didn’t know she passed until I came to.”

The couple said ‘I do’ in front of friends on February 2019 at their home in the 55-plus golfing community of Del Tura in North Fort Myers.

A year later, both fell ill.