A rising high school senior in Georgia is mourning the loss of both his parents after they lost their lives to COVID-19 in the same week, media outlets report.
According to WSB-TV, 17-year-old Justin Hunter lost his parents, Eugene and Angie Hunter, last week. His father was 59, his mother was 57.
Hunter said they didn’t have any pre-existing conditions.
“We were a regular family just trying to stay safe during the pandemic,” Hunter told the station. “When my mom would go to the store, she would be wearing a mask and she would be wearing gloves.”
Hunter told WXIA-TV that the entire family had tested positive for COVID-19 a week earlier and were all quarantined. He was asymptomatic but his parents soon began exhibiting the telltale symptoms: fever, headache and cough.
Hunter waited at home while his parents were admitted to Emory Johns Creek Hospital. On July 26, the hospital called to notify him that his father passed away. That’s when he spoke to his mom over the phone.
“(She said) she’s going to keep fighting to get better to come back,” Hunter told WXIA-TV.
Then four days later, on July 30, he got another call from the hospital saying that his mother died. Hunter was told he couldn’t go to the hospital to see them as he’s still in quarantine.
Eugene and Angie Hunter were together for 35 years and met in college, according to WSB-TV. Hunter’s father was known in his church community as a talented saxophone player. His mother was a human resources executive.
Hunter told the station his parents always supported his football dreams. They always discussed plans for him to continue schoolwork, get a football scholarship and eventually go pro.
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Our thoughts & prayers go out to @jcgladiators ‘ Senior Justin Hunter on the loss of his parents. Please consider helping this young man. #OneFulton 🐻🙏🏼 https://t.co/rvzP8wP9mB
— Cambridge Athletics (@Cambridge_AD) August 2, 2020
“I know they’re watching me from above and they’re going to be the ones to give me strength to get through this,” Hunter told WXIA-TV.
He told the station he plans to live with relatives.
Hunter did not immediately respond to USA TODAY’s request for comment, however, he posted a statement on Twitter Friday in memory of his parents, thanking the community for their love and support.
“Dear mom and dad, thank you for making me the person I am today,” he said. “You guys will forever be carried in my heart. And from this day on everything I do is for you. I love you mom, I love you dad. Rest in paradise.”
Follow Adrianna Rodriguez on Twitter: @AdriannaUSAT.
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