Tuscaloosa man dies from COVID-19 complications; family says he didn’t take precautions

Family plea: Don't underestimate virus

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WBRC) - A family is mourning the loss of a beloved father from Tuscaloosa, who died due to complications from coronavirus.

Joe Hinton was a giver with a big heart.

“He gave a lady 300 dollars to fix her tires recently and didn’t even know her…so that’s the kind of guy he was,” Tyler Hinton, his son said.

Hinton was in the late 70′s and diabetic. Since the coronavirus pandemic began, his family tried warning him about it but he believed it was overblown and a hoax.

“I mean our top leadership was saying the exact same thing. He took it to heart and didn’t take any precautions. He didn’t wear a mask. He didn’t social distance. He continued to do what he wanted to do and in a way that’s kind of comforting that he was able to still enjoy his life,” Tyler said.

His family says on June 18th, Hinton tested positive for COVID-19. Three days later on Father’s Day, his symptoms worsened. It happened so fast that his family didn’t get a chance to see him. They only talked with him on the phone. We’re told he died a day later due to complications from COVID-19.

“I was with him all the way up until he lost consciousness so more or less I heard my dad’s last breaths over the phone. Since I was on the phone with him, I can guarantee that it’s not a pleasant way to go. That phone call will haunt me for the rest of my life,” Tyler said.

The Hinton’s are now sharing their heartbreaking story in hopes of getting the message out that coronavirus is real and that the least you can do, for their sake and others, is to wear a mask and practice social distancing.

“People need to understand that yes..the chances are probably relatively low and you’ll probably be ok..but is it really worth taking the chance and not taking reasonable precautions to save yourself and save your loved ones. To me that’s everybody’s duty right now in this country,” Tyler said.

In a post on Facebook, Tyler says his dad suffered an agonizing death and other than what little support he could give over the phone, he suffered alone. The family says no one should have to go through something like that.

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