McINTOSH, Ala. (WKRG) — Keith Taylor, 33, died on March 30 after driving himself to the hospital 10 days earlier, according to his cousin Ashley Chestang.
He is the first recorded COVID-19 death in Washington County.
“So he was actually up and talking for the first couple days in the hospital. And then they put him in a medically induced coma because his lungs weren’t, they weren’t functioning like they wanted them to, so they put him in the medically induced coma, and he never came out,” Chestang told us over the phone.
Chestang says she and Taylor grew up across the street from each other, and have been like siblings ever since they were kids. She says Taylor had been diagnosed with diabetes when he was a child, but had otherwise been healthy — and very happy.
“He was just loved by everybody. He can just make you laugh. Like you could be having the worst day and he could just say something to make you laugh,” she said.
Not only was it difficult enough for the family to lose Taylor to the virus, but COVID-19 also prevented them from being able to have a funeral, which Chestang said was particularly difficult for Taylor’s mother.
“Even though he passed, I’m sure she would love to kiss his forehead one time, but she can’t,” Chestang said.
Her final message is one of urgency.
“What I want to get out there is that this virus is actually real. It’s really real. And it’s taking people away from here.”
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