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Adam Schlesinger’s girlfriend details his last moments before he died from COVID-19

Singer-songwriter Adam Schlesinger's girlfriend posted a touching tribute Sunday on Instagram.
(Richard Shotwell / Invision / Associated Press)

Shortly before he died from COVID-19 complications, Fountains of Wayne cofounder Adam Schlesinger thanked his girlfriend for saving his life.

Then, she “never got to hear his voice again.”

In an emotional Instagram post, the late singer-songwriter’s girlfriend, Alexis Morley, shared details Sunday about their final days together — and apart — as well as the last photo they took while going on a nature walk in 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 in the lengthy caption, which extended into the comments section after exceeding Instagram’s character limit. “This one was ‘Poets’ Walk’ in Red Hook. ... That night he woke up at 4am with a fever.”

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She recounted the subsequent days she spent trying to “keep him comfortable, nurse him back to health,” noting that their roles were “reversed because usually Adam was the one to take care of me.”

“We spent such a sweet week together ... as we waited for the fever to break,” she continued. “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.”

View this post on Instagram

💔💔💔 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, 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 hoped to see (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, confident he’d be ok. 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 to allow me 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 could connect Sadie & Claire and Bobbi & Steve through my phone’s facetime too. I’d like to think he could sense us there, but he was deeply unconscious. (CONT in comment) #adamschlesinger#fountainsofwayne #ivyband @adam_schlesinger

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

Though she wasn’t allowed to join him in the hospital, Morley recalled texting back and forth, “making cute jokes, feeling optimistic.”

“The next morning he was intubated,” she said. “I never got to hear his voice again. After 10 days ... 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.

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“But Adam looked sweet, peaceful, beautiful. I’m so thankful that I got to spend that one final hour with him ... I like to think he could sense us there, but he was deeply unconscious.”

In the weeks after Schlesinger’s death April 1, tributes began pouring in from his many industry friends, including the surviving members of Fountains of Wayne, who saluted him by performing “Hackensack” as part of the “Jersey 4 Jersey” benefit for coronavirus relief.

Members of Fountains of Wayne perform together for the first time in seven years, with help from Sharon Van Etten, to salute bandmate Adam Schlesinger, who died from COVID-19.

Earlier this month, the cast of Tom Hanks’ directorial debut, “That Thing You Do!,” also staged a virtual reunion in honor of Schlesinger, who wrote the film’s theme song, among many other memorable tracks for both movies and TV shows, such as Rachel Bloom’s “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.”

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“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,” Morley concluded her post, which also included a photo of the sun poking out from behind some trees. “He was holding his hand as it happened. It had been a dark, overcast day, but that moment the sun came out for just a few minutes and lit up the entire sky. ... I love you so, so much, Adam.”


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