Family members mourn fourth COVID-19 death in W.Va.

By  | 

PUTNAM COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Coronavirus took a fourth life in West Virginia. The virus left Jenna Palmer and her family to mourn the life of her grandfather, John Palmer.

Coronavirus took a fourth life in West Virginia. The virus left Jenna Palmer and her family to mourn the life of her grandfather, John Palmer.

When Jenna Palmer found out he was diagnosed with novel coronavirus, she already knew. Jenna's uncle was the first case out of Harrison County and the two had contact.

"The worse it got the more we were trying to push to go to the hospital to get tested," Jenna Palmer said.

John Palmer went to the hospital on March 28, testing positive for COVID-19.

After the hospitalization, Jenna Palmer found out four more people in her family had coronavirus including her grandmother, John Palmer's wife, cousins, and other family members.

Jenna Palmer's family had six cases, but John Palmer's was the worst. Jenna's grandmother did not experience the symptoms as severely, but she stayed home in self isolation while two of their family members were on a ventilator.

"Admitted to the hospital on March 28th and yesterday was when the family all got together and the family decided that he would not want to be kept alive by machines," Jenna Palmer said.

The hardest part, according to Jenna, was she could not be there with him when he died. But she said John Palmer was loved.

"It's very hard for me to know that the fourth death in West Virginia is going to be my grandfather. and I think that's mainly because I don't want him to be remembered that way," she said.

Jenna said her grandfather was 85 years old when he died. He served in the Korean War, loved West Virginia and his country, and he was proud of his family. She said he would talk to anyone.

Jenna said she had not seen her grandfather since November 2019.

"Obviously I would tell him that I love him very much and how much he meant to me because I think that we just don't tell people enough how much they mean to us," she said.

John Palmer did have pre-existing conditions when he got coronavirus.

The family hopes to have a small graveside service until they are able to celebrate John Palmer's life without social distancing restrictions.