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Woman loses stepfather to COVID-19, mother also fighting the illness

Posted at 6:54 PM, Apr 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-08 20:02:23-04

OLD HICKORY, Tenn. (WTVF) — A Clarksville woman is grieving the loss of her stepfather to COVID-19 while her mother is also fighting the illness.

Lekasha Goldthreate said her stepfather, Travis Dillard, would’ve been 49-years-old on April 10. He passed away three days before his birthday after being hospitalized because of COVID-19

"He was coughing, him and my mom had chest tightness. When .he ended up having difficulty breathing we went to the hospital," Goldthreate said.

Travis was a father of six and had several grandchildren.

Goldthreate said he loved being around people but when he was at Tristar Summit medical center for eight days, he wasn’t allowed a single visitor.

"That's the most difficult part," said Goldthreate, "my dad passed away by himself because we were unable to visit the hospital."

Dillard couldn’t even see his wife, Monica Goldthreate Dillard, who also has COVID-19 and is self-isolating herself inside their Old Hickory home.

Goldthreate wants people to take this virus seriously. She says Dillard was generally a healthy person but he did have high blood pressure.

"The virus doesn't care about race, age, rich or poor," said Goldthreate.

Dillard previously worked for MDHA and was born and raised in Shreveport, Louisiana.

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What is COVID-19 (a.k.a. the new coronavirus?)

According to the World Health Organization, coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases. Examples include the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). A novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans. COVID-19 stands for "Coronavirus disease 2019," which is when this strain of the coronavirus was discovered.

What are the symptoms?

The CDC says patients confirmed to have the 2019-nCoV reportedly had mild to severe respiratory illness with:

  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

Or at least two of the following symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Repeated shaking with chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell

At this time, the CDC believes symptoms could appear as soon as two days after exposure, or as long as 14 days.

Prevention

The CDC is recommending "common sense" measures such as:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.