LONDON, ONT. -- “I am doing this so you know that COVID is real and it can happen to you” writes Lisa Haalstra in a Facebook post urging people to take COVID-19 seriously after her husband, 44-year-old Martin Haalstra of Belmont, passed away on Sunday.

“Last week Martin had a sinus infection, then mid-week started with a cough and trouble breathing,” Haalstra wrote in her post. By Friday, Martin had tested positive for COVID-19, and sent to hospital Saturday after he couldn’t breathe.

“By Sunday night he was in the ICU and they were prepping him in case he needed to be intubated. He had a feeding tube inserted, given doses of steroids and antibiotics,” she says.

According to Haalstra’s post her husband underwent CT scans, blood tests, chest X-rays, and was laying on his stomach for nine hours while being fed high-flow oxygen.

According to an online obituary, Martin passed away on Sunday.

“Profound sadness and heartbreak don’t begin to describe losing our beloved Martin Haalstra. He was a husband and father first,” the obituary begins.

Lisa explains in her Facebook post that despite being a private person, she shared her story to get people to stop underestimating the virus.

“I hope that our story saves one person from going through what we are dealing with. I DON'T share this so you can feel sorry for us, I am doing this so you know that Covid is real and it can happen to you.”

Lisa finishes her post by pleading with anyone that reads to "Think about Martin and our story when you make your Christmas plans this year."

"I need you to tell everyone and share his story, because if this keeps one of you safe then it’s worth making this public.”

Martin Haalstra leaves behind his wife Lisa, and three children, Caleb, Ethan and Avery.

A request from CTV News for an interview was not answered.

A GoFundMe page has been created for those who would like to donate.