Demarcus Dunn was unvaccinated and died on August 13, just a day before he was supposed to get married.
The pandemic has claimed the lives of many, but Demarcus Dunn, a police lieutenant and community mentor in Baker, Louisiana, never imagined he would bid farewell to the world, too. You see, he had big plans for the future.
Lt. Dunn was supposed to get married to his fiancée Francine James in July 2020, but he postponed the wedding to August 14, 2021, due to uncertain times, according to ABC News.
A couple of weeks before his wedding, on July 29, Dunn notified his cousin, Carl Dunn, who is also a Baker Police Chief, that he had tested positive for the virus. Lt. Dunn's initial symptoms were cough and a headache. He also had trouble breathing at first, but Carl Dunn said he talked to him "every day and he always sounded upbeat."
On August 10, with just four days to go for his wedding, his condition deteriorated and they were forced to put him on the ventilator. "Even the day that he went on the ventilator, I talked to him that morning, and he told me that he wasn't feeling bad," the chief said. But, he never came off the device, and on August 13, he breathed his last,
The news of his death left friends and family in shock, per PEOPLE. "I know he was a fighter and strong-willed," Carl said. "I just kept telling myself he was going to make it and I kept assuring the family that I knew he was going to make it." As for his fiancée, "She's lost without him," Carl Dunn said, adding that he was also father to three children, ages 1, 5, and 13.
The one thing that's really upset Dunn is the fact that his cousin wasn't vaccinated. He didn't know why Demarcus Dunn chose not to get jabbed but added that the police didn't require their employees to take the shot. "It was disturbing to me that he hadn't gotten it [the vaccine] and I didn't know for sure he hadn't gotten it 'til it was all over with," Carl Dunn said.
Lt. Dunn, an Air Force veteran, was someone who spent his free time coaching and mentoring local children, Carl said. He had a personal reason behind doing so—his father was killed when he was a child and "the only Daddies he knew were coaches", so he felt a responsibility to give back, the chief wrote, in his Facebook post.
"He just wanted to always be in these children's lives and be a positive impact," Carl Dunn said. "His fiancée, she really understood that that's where his heart was and that's what kept him satisfied -- giving back."
The mayor of Baker, Darnell Waites, said in a statement, "My heart is heavy since learning of the passing of Demarcus Dunn."
"He was a father, husband, soldier, mentor, friend, and veteran Baker police officer -- a man loved by all," Waites said. "His life spent dedicated in service to others was a shining example for our community."
Added Carl Dunn: "We lost a wonderful person and a wonderful community servant. He had a sense of being responsible. He wanted to be the one to make a positive change."
Cover Image Source: Facebook | Carl Dunn