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Family speaks out about COVID-19 death of patient at Raleigh Court Health and Rehabilitation Center

Published: Sep. 16, 2020 at 5:34 AM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - Time is precious.

“As we grow older, it’s even more important; you can’t replace it, you can’t replace that time," said Debbie Adkins.

Sunday, Debbie Adkins ran out of time with her uncle, Pete Dudding.

He died from COVID-19.

“Labored breathing, heart issues, his oxygen was in distress," said Adkins, describing some of the symptoms that her uncle experienced.

For the last roughly two years, Dudding has been a patient at Raleigh Court Health and Rehabilitation Center.

He tested negative at the center early last week, but he had persisting symptoms.

He was then transferred to Carilion, where he tested positive September 10.

“It was kinda shocking because we didn’t know anything was going on in there, no one had been in," said Adkins.

WDBJ7 sent Raleigh Court Rehab a list of questions, as the center declined to do an on-camera interview.

From an administrator, WDBJ7 learned that the center did not have its first case of COVID-19 until June 12, when an employee tested positive.

Their next case wasn’t until August 26, when a patient developed symptoms and tested positive.

Currently, 31 patients are positive for the virus and 10 staff members are positive. Eleven patients have died.

“Our long-term care facilities have really stepped up to understand what it takes to prevent the spread, the disease from getting in the facility and preventing the spread once an individual is identified as having the virus," said Dr. Molly O’Dell.

As of this report, though, Raleigh Court is one of two long-term care facilities in the Roanoke City and Allegheny Health district with an outbreak.

Dudding’s family members were hopeful that their loved one would not become another number.

But above all they want to know how he became infected.

“We were scratching our heads, because we can’t visit, no one can visit," said Adkins.

Copyright 2020 WDBJ. All rights reserved.

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