Adam Schlesinger’s girlfriend describes his final moments in moving tribute

"Our roles kind of reversed because usually Adam was the one to take care of me"

Adam Schlesinger‘s girlfriend Alexis Morley has recalled her last moments with the late Fountains of Wayne songwriter, after he died from coronavirus at the start of April.

Posting on Instagram, Morley shared the last photo taken of the pair on March 15, when they took a “gorgeous, 4 mile walk” in upstate New York.

“It sounds out of character, but in the past year Adam had grown open to, and eventually enthusiastic about, taking long walks outdoors (we just weren’t allowed to call them ‘hikes’),” she wrote.

“This one was ‘Poets’ Walk’ in Red Hook. We’d gone there before, mostly because we liked the name and had lots of jokes about all the ‘poets’ we’d see (we envisioned old, cartoonishly-tweedy guys, ambling around, hands clasped behind backs, gazing into the sky for ‘inspiration’).”

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💔💔💔 This is the last photo taken of Adam and me, March 15. We went on a gorgeous, 4 mile walk that day with our friend @davidwatts1978, after driving upstate from NYC the day before. It sounds out of character, but in the past year Adam had grown open to, and eventually enthusiastic about, taking long walks outdoors (we just weren’t allowed to call them “hikes”). This one was “Poets’ Walk” in Red Hook. We’d gone there before, mostly because we liked the name and had lots of jokes about the “poets” we collaboratively conjured (we envisioned old, cartoonishly-tweedy guys, ambling, hands clasped behind backs, gazing to the sky in search of “inspiration”). That night he woke up at 4am with a fever. We spent such a sweet week together, our roles kind of reversed because usually Adam was the one to take care of me. I tried to keep him comfortable, nurse him back to health, as we waited for the fever to break. We were sure it would—just like any other crappy flu. He said, “I’m ok. I have my Alexis.” But 7 days later things got worse and I brought him to the hospital. I wasn’t allowed to walk in with him. I drove home alone through a snowstorm terrified (the first time I’d driven a car in years), but we spent the night texting, making cute jokes, feeling optimistic. He kept telling me how much he loved me and thanked me for “saving [his] life”😪. The next morning he was intubated. I never got to hear his voice again. After 10 days of me, our incredible families, and friends drawing on every resource possible trying to help, I got a 3am call from the hospital. He wasn’t going to make it. I asked if there was any way I could see him (a cruelty of the pandemic is a strict ban on visitors). They made special arrangements for me to be allowed into the covid unit: a low-lit, grim, heavy place; the medical workers and I obscured by layers of PPE. But Adam looked sweet, peaceful, beautiful. I’m so thankful that I got to spend that one final hour with him—and that I was able to connect Sadie & Claire and Bobbi & Steve through my phone’s facetime too. I like to think he could sense us there, but he was deeply unconscious. (CONT in comment) #adamschlesinger @adam_schlesinger

A post shared by Alexis Morley ✨🕋👁🗝🐇 (@alexismorley) on

“That night he woke up at 4am with a high fever,” she recalled.

“We spent such a sweet week together, our roles kind of reversed because usually Adam was the one to take care of me. I tried to keep him comfortable, nurse him back to health, as we waited for the fever to break. We were sure it would, just like any other crappy flu.”

When Schlesinger’s health worsened, she drove him to hospital but was not allowed to go inside with him.

“We spent the night texting, making cute jokes, feeling optimistic. He kept telling me how much he loved me and thanked me for saving his life. The next morning he was intubated and I never got to hear his voice again,” she wrote.

10 days later, Morley “got a 3am call from the hospital telling me he wasn’t going to make it.”

Describing how the hospital made special arrangements for her to see Schlesinger, she said: “It was a low-lit, grim, heavy place, the medical workers and I all hidden under layers and layers of PPE. But Adam looked sweet, peaceful, beautiful.

She was also able to FaceTime his family from the hospital. “I like to think he could sense us all there,” she said, “but he was deeply unconscious.”

In a follow-up comment, she wrote: “Shortly after I arrived back at the house, Jordan, a male nurse who’d been so wonderfully compassionate in the covid unit, called to tell me that Adam had just passed, peacefully, He was holding his hand as it happened. It had been a dark, overcast day, but at that moment the sun came out for just a few minutes and lit up the entire sky. I love you so, so much, Adam.”

In the wake of Schlesinger’s death, tributes flooded in from the likes of Tom Hanks, Stephen King and Dashboard Confessional’s Chris Carrabba.

In the wake of his death, Fountains of Wayne also reunited to play a benefit show alongside Sharon Van Etten. 

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