Justin Hunter, a high school senior in Fulton county in Georgiawhich is the hardest hit in the state, became an orphan in less than a week.
The pandemic has been hard for many families; people are struggling in hospitals, front line workers are working hard endlessly, and many families have lost a loved one as well. In Atlanta, Georgia's Fulton county, there are more than 18,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 398 deaths, according to state data, reports Good Morning America.
One teenager, who is a single child and senior in Johns Creek High School in Fulton, tragically lost both of his parents to the virus. He lost his father leaving him heartbroken and in four days, lost his mom as well to the virus, which left the 17-year-old an orphan. However, despite the shock and grief, this Georgia teenager is spreading more awareness about the infection instead of feeling sorry for himself.
Justin Hunter, who lost his parents, Eugene and Angie Hunter, at the end of July, is a football player at his school, reports Good Morning America. The linebacker wants to dedicate his senior season to his parents, who had been married for 35 years after meeting in college.
Need some prayers. 1 of our players, @JustinHunter47, just lost both of his parents in the last 4 days. Need some prayers for Justin and his family. RIP Gene and Angie. @OfficialGHSA @RecruitGeorgia @larryblustein @CoachGeorgia_ @FlaHSFootball @FultonAD_crafts @GACACoaches— Johns Creek FB (@JohnsCreekHSFB) July 31, 2020
"Since I started playing, we always talked about me playing in college and then playing in the pros," he said. "They would have wanted me to keep going and get a scholarship and my schoolwork done."
His father, Eugene, 59, a musician, died on July 26 and his mother, Angie, 57, a human resources executive, died just four days later, on July 30, WSB reported. All three of them had tested positive for the virus in July and only one of them survived it. Justin was asymptomatic, but his parents were facing mild to severe symptoms. "They became very sick and they had the clear symptoms,” the teen said. "Their temperature skyrocketed, they had headaches, a horrible cough. They just felt very lazy," he added.
Initially, they quarantined at home separately but it only got worse. They had to call an ambulance and in just days both of them were gone. They were taken to the same hospital. What makes it worse is that his family had been taking precautions.
Thank you all for your support. It means the world to me. I won't be responding to text or calls at this time, but I will get back to all of you soon. Love you all🖤#LLE💕🕊 #LLA💕🕊 pic.twitter.com/WCfgmOHltB— Justin Hunter (@JustinHunter47) July 31, 2020
"We were a regular family just trying to stay safe during this pandemic," he said. "When my mom would go to the store, she would be wearing mask and she would be wearing gloves," he added.
The last conversations he had with his parents show that they were loving parents who hoped to make full recovery and be with their child. His mom told him she loved him and “God has you." Eugene had promised to fight the infection. "Basically, last thing he said was ‘I love you and I’m going to get better and I’m going to keep fighting,’” the high school senior said.
While he is dealing grieving and processing the fact he has no parents to support him and watch him grow, he still wants to make sure others are taking care of themselves and warns them to take the virus seriously. "They never raised me to sit around and feel sorry for myself in any situation, and I just gotta keep going and pushing," he said. "I know they’re happy up there and that’s what makes me happy," he added.
A GoFundMe has been set up for him and it raised for than $450,000 raised so far. He will be living with his relatives now and he wants people to take this virus seriously. "If you don’t wear it for yourself, then wear it for the next person because you could be saving that person’s life," said he.