An Atlanta-area community is rallying around a teenager who lost both of his parents to COVID-19 just days apart, WSB reports.
“We were a regular family just trying to stay safe during this pandemic,” said 17-year-old Justin Hunter.
The high school senior and football player said he and his parents, Angie and Eugene, took all the proper precautions.
“For example, my mom. When she would go to the store, she would be wearing a mask. She would be wearing gloves,” Hunter said.
But about two weeks ago, they all became infected with COVID-19.
“I don’t really know how our family got the virus,” Hunter said.
He said he was asymptomatic, but his parents started showing serious symptoms.
“Their temperature, it skyrocketed. They had headaches. Horrible cough. They just felt very lazy,” Hunter said.
His parents were both hospitalized.
His father, an accomplished musician, lost his battle with the virus on July 26. His mother, a human resources executive, died four days later.
“The last thing he said was ‘I love you,’ and I’m going to get better, and I’m going to keep fighting,” Hunter said. “They never raised me to just sit around and feel sorry for myself in any situation.”
He said his strength comes from his parents, his two biggest role models, who were married for 35 years and had been his No. 1 fans.
“Their relationship was true love for sure. They had very big hearts, and they would give without even thinking about getting back,” Hunter said.
He encourages people to wear a mask and take the pandemic seriously: “If you don’t wear it for yourself, wear it for the next person cause you could be saving that person’s life.”
A GoFundMe has been set up for Hunter with over $100,000 raised so far.
“It feels really good to know that I’ve got people that have my back,” Hunter said.