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Paramedic dies weeks after contracting Covid

LANCASTER, S.C. — Richard McKinney was an enormous man with an enormous coronary heart.

“He’s like an enormous teddy bear,” stated fellow paramedic and longtime buddy Josh Faulkenberry.

Two weeks in the past, Faulkenberry stated McKinney began to get sick.

“He simply began feeling not nicely. Then rapidly, (he) began having extra of the respiratory signs. He obtained examined and discovered he was constructive,” Faulkenberry stated.

It shortly obtained worse. Respiratory turned tougher and McKinney, 45, went to the hospital.

On Tuesday, Channel 9 realized that McKinney had died. First responders and emergency autos lined the streets as his physique was transported from Rock Hill again to Lancaster Tuesday afternoon.

Emergency Medical Companies Director Clay Catoe stated that for the reason that pandemic began, greater than half his employees has contracted COVID-19, together with himself. When Channel 9 spoke with him final week, they had been all targeted on getting one in every of their finest again to the work he loves.

“Everyone’s sort of strolling on eggshells,” Catoe stated. “We’re 125 staff, and we’re all right here to assist him, and we wish him to drag via.”

McKinney had been placed on a ventilator and a prayer vigil was held for him final Tuesday evening. It concerned a big crowd of his EMS, fireplace and legislation enforcement household.

All of them signed T-shirts for him, inspired his household and prayed.

In Could 2020, Rock Hill paramedic Pearl Lemieux, then 63, survived 14 days on a ventilator. She was cheered when she walked out of rehab. Now, she’s again at work at Piedmont EMS.

In Lancaster, co-workers had hoped to inform the identical story about McKinney.

“I do know Richard’s a fighter. Between what I find out about him, and what I find out about God, he’s going to drag via,” Faulkenberry had stated.

(WATCH BELOW: Paramedic shares her expertise with COVID-19)

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