Colorado governor Jared Polis proposed to his boyfriend as he was being rushed to hospital with coronavirus

Jared Polis (R) and Marlon Reis hold hands as people clap behind them

As Colorado governor Jared Polis’ partner was being taken to hospital for the coronavirus, he was suddenly left breathless – but not in the way you might think.

Polis, the country’s first out gay governor, had just asked his boyfriend of 17 years to marry him.

Polis asked Marlon Reis to marry him in December last year moments before the 39-year-old was sped to hospital with coronavirus.

Reis, an animal rights advocate, had been battling the infection for more than a week, according to the Colorado Sun, and, at his doctor’s behest, had to go to the hospital. Their children began to cry. That’s when Polis got down one knee.

“I was getting my things ready,” Reis recalled. “My daughter was crying in the corner — she didn’t want me to go.

“My son was asking me a lot of technical questions: ‘When are you coming back? Do they know exactly what’s wrong?’ It was a very tense moment.”

Polis “irked” Reis, he said, when the governor urged him to hurry up. Suddenly, everything went silent.

“It was the absolute perfect time,” Reis explained, as Polis asked to marry him.

“I said to him: ‘I couldn’t breathe before. Now I really can’t breathe’.”

Thankfully, he caught his breath and said yes.

The couple’s six-year-old daughter, Cora, immediately stopped weeping, too excited at the prospect of being a flower girl. Their nine-year-old son, Caspian Julian, meanwhile, said: “I really don’t like your engagement ring.”

Jared Polis (R) and his partner Marlon Reis at their home with then nine-week-old son CJ in 2011. (Kathryn Scott Osler/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

On the topic of the ring, Reis said it’s “very plain, perfectly in keeping with both our personalities”.

After saying yes, Reis went to hospital. He was no longer afraid and felt determined to return home.

“It put such a spring in my step,” he said. “When I got to the hospital I wasn’t scared anymore.

“I said: ‘I have a great relationship, a great family that I’m going to be coming home to after this’.”

Reis was released from hospital two days later, and the saga has since motivated him to live life to the full.

“Let’s not wait,” Reis beamed. “Let’s live life while we have it to live

“Let’s celebrate and look out for each other and keep caring about the things that we care about. Even though we’re dealing with these circumstances, we can’t give up on our dreams.”