Remembering the coronavirus victims in Alabama: Share your story

Updated: Jun. 17, 2020 at 5:06 PM CDT
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As of June 15, 2020, at least 769 Alabamians have lost their lives to the coronavirus, which has infected more than 7,973,300 million people worldwide.

Dr. Chaihan Korn, a 72-year-old doctor from Gadsden, was one of the victims from Alabama. He and his wife emigrated from Thailand in the 1970s and he had practiced medicine in the Gadsden area for 43 years.

Prominent Gadsden doctor dies of COVID-19 after treating patients with the disease
Prominent Gadsden doctor dies of COVID-19 after treating patients with the disease(Jenny Korn)

Dr. Korn, who specialized in cardiology, had been working extensively with COVID-19 patients and was diagnosed with the virus 9 weeks ago, according to his daughter Jenny Korn.

Her father’s fight against the coronavirus was up and down, and he was eventually intubated at UAB Medical Center in Birmingham. He died on Monday, June 1, 2020.

Jenny Korn said her dad went by the nickname "Papa Korn" and described him as the "best man I have ever known."

“The hole in my heart is so large,” she said.

Because of the ongoing threat of the virus, no funeral plans have yet been made for Dr. Chaihan Korn.

A family in east Alabama lost three relatives to the coronavirus in April.

Phacethia Posey, her father Billy Ray Woods, and his nephew, Michael Woods, all died from COVID-19. Posey and her dad were from Gadsden and Michael Woods was from Gadsden.

Phacethia Posey, and her father, Billy Ray Woods both died from COVID-19.
Phacethia Posey, and her father, Billy Ray Woods both died from COVID-19.(Kyra Porter)

Six other family members, including Kyra Porter, contracted COVID-19 as well. Porter says they still don’t know how the virus spread through their family, since they were limiting where they went and followed the recommended guidelines.

Family members held a funeral for the three relatives who died, but because of social distancing rules, not all of their family was able to attend.

Phacethia died on April 13, 2020 at the age of 51. Family and friends called her “CeeCee” and said she “could captivate any room with her smile, fashion sense and overall beauty,” according to her obituary.

“As a child, CeeCee grew up in church making her zeal for Christ infectious to all she would meet,” her obituary says. She was involved in several ministries at her church, New Destiny Christian Church.

Phacethia left behind her husband of 25 years, Tyrone, and two children.

Billy Ray “BAM” Woods died on April 18 at the age of 70, just five days after his daughter Phacethia. He was survived by his wife Barbara, according to his obituary.

Barbara Wood shared this with us: Billy Woods was a long time member of the church we attended where he served as a Deacon for many years until his demise.

Woods attended Sunday School, Baptist Training Union, Bible study and many other services of the church. He was a person who shared and cared for many people no matter what race, creed or color. He was always giving to someone.

He loved his family dearly because we were family oriented. We, as a family, met at our home every Sunday after church to eat family dinner that I had prepared.

He loved to barbecue. At one time, he had a restaurant where Bar-B-Q was the featured item. About a week before he became ill, the last thing he purchased was a new Bar-B-Q grill. My daughter Phacethia Posey passed on Monday, April 13 and my husband and nephew passed on the 18th within an hour apart.

Billy Woods’ nephew Michael Todd “Sandman” Woods also died on April 18, 2020 at the age of 48.

His obituary described him as a “a treasured choir member and beloved and efficient parking attendant” at Antioch Baptist Church.

“He will be remembered the most for his outgoing personality and his great dance moves at a Litchfield High School pep rallies,” his obituary said.

He’s described as an all-around cheerful, kind and helpful person.

“When ‘Sandman’ was able to be still enough, you could find him in the kitchen cooking up something and nobody could outdo his fried chicken and cornbread,” his obituary said.

All three family members were laid to rest at Lincoln Hill Cemetery in Gadsden.

If you have a loved one who has died from the coronavirus in Alabama, you’re invited to share their story with us. We may use it online and/or on TV.

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