In late February, Garth Brooks received the scare of his life. His beloved wife of 15 years, Trisha Yearwood, tested positive for COVID-19. Unlike his daughter Allie, who had a mild case in July,

“Trisha was having chills, high fever, low energy and muscle aches,” a friend of the country music superstars tells Closer Weekly, on newsstands now. Garth, who tested negative, immediately dedicated himself to caring for Trisha. “Anyone who knows me knows my world begins and ends with Miss Yearwood,” he says. “So she and I will ride through this together.”

It’s little surprise that Garth, 59, would put all other responsibilities on hold to take care of Trisha, 56. The performers have been very much in love ever since they got together in the early 2000s. “We’re always choosing each other,” Trisha has said. Their careers have also become intertwined as they often tour together. So, when Trisha became ill, Garth worried about her recovery and how the virus might affect her singing. “Living with her, I sometimes take it for granted she’s one of the greatest voices in all of music,” Garth admits, “so the possible long-term effects on her concern me as her husband and as a fan.”

Seeing the virus take its toll on his love must have been terrifying, but Garth took control. “His nursing duties have kicked in,” says the friend. “He’s stepped up the foot and neck massages. He’s even made her bone-broth soup from scratch!”

Garth Brooks 'Stepped Up' After Trisha Yearwood COVID Diagnosis
Greg Allen/Invision/AP/Shutterstock

That’s no small feat. According to his eldest daughter, Taylor, 29, her father “could not cook to save his life,” before he wed Trisha, who has hosted Trisha’s Southern Kitchen on the Food Network since 2012.

Garth and Trisha met in 1987 but didn’t become more than friends until after his 2001 divorce from Sandy Mahl, with whom he has three daughters. (Trisha is twice divorced.) Garth often calls Trisha “the Queen,” and the two have collaborated on numerous duets. “I just want to be wherever she’s at,” he says. “I love breathing the same air she’s breathing.”

Their devotion to each other — especially over the past year — has been unwavering. While Garth confesses that the stress brought on by the pandemic has been “the most we’ve gone through as a couple,” it’s also brought them closer together as they hunkered down, offering occasional virtual mini-concerts from their home studio in Nashville. And fortunately, their friend tells Closer, “I don’t think Trisha has any major underlying health issues that concern her doctors” so she should expect a full recovery.

Garth’s bone broth may be helping. “Officially, she’s diagnosed as ‘on her way out of
the tunnel,’ which I’m extremely thankful for,” he says. And together, they remain optimistic about the future despite the pandemic and its travails, because, Garth says, “What’s on the other side is so great, especially when you are with the right one.”

Lisa Chambers, with reporting by Rick Egusquiza

For more on this story, pick up the latest issue of Closer magazine, on newsstands now.