Son of Navy Vet Reveals Father Died Alone Two Days After Coronavirus Diagnosis

Lizzy Buczak
March 25, 2020 - 3:08 pm

The son of a U.S Navy veteran who passed away due to coronavirus is speaking out about their heartbreak.

Lawrence Riley of Milwaukee died last Thursday.

His son, Elvaughn Riley, told ABC News via phone interview, that it was a shock because the family thought the retired firefighter who survived two strokes, could “survive anything.”

"The way he handled pain, he was a tough guy. For this to take him out, it was a shock," Elvaughn said.

The 55-year-old many first began experiencing minor symptoms such as lethargy a few days before his death.

However, the situation escalated quickly. By Monday, he was bedridden, and on Tuesday, he was rushed to the hospital where he was placed in a medically induced coma after testing positive.

He died two days later.

Elvaughn said the worst part is that the family couldn’t be by his father’s side when he passed.

"We weren't even there to comfort him, to hold his hand," Elvaughn said, adding, "He died alone."

Lawrence’s wife and his two younger children were told to self-quarantine at home following his diagnosis.

Elvaughn hasn’t been able to see them since and has been leaving food at the front door daily.

He said the isolation has made it difficult to process the death and properly grieve.

Elvaughn remembered his father fondly stating that he was an inspiration and the reason he joined the Navy.

"I looked up to him so much. Me joining the Navy was an easy decision. The kind of man my father was, I wanted to be like that," he admitted.

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