The family of one of the first Alabama residents to die after being infected with the coronavirus said Thursday they want to thank the Lauderdale County community for its support, and sent out a request to take the disease seriously.
Lauderdale County resident Albert Trousdale, 78, died early Thursday morning, family members said. He died at about 2:30 a.m.
"We want to thank everyone for the outpouring of support," Trousdale's daughter-in-law, Nicole Trousdale, said. "We've had a tremendous amount of people who knew him contact us. We've had friends and people who said they'd heard about this tell us they are praying for the whole family."
The family had created a Facebook page, Albert Trousdale’s Recovery and Updates, to provide updates. They announced his death on the page Thursday morning.
"He will be missed by so many people," the post reads. "Please pray for Nancy, Julie, Matt and Nicole. Details of funeral arrangements will be announced at a later time."
Nancy is his widow, Julie his daughter and Matt his son and Nicole's husband.
Trousdale, who is from Elgin, which is between Killen and Rogersville, was admitted to Huntsville Hospital on March 16. He was placed in intensive care a couple of days later.
Family members have been in quarantine since then, which meant they could not stay with him at the hospital.
The state announced on Wednesday the first death of a resident from COVID-19, a Jackson County patient with underlying health problems who died in a facility outside of Alabama. The state still listed only one death from the new virus on Thursday night but said it is waiting until it investigates deaths to update the data.
"We’ve had other deaths reported to us that we’re investigating now, and we’ll release that information when it’s available," State Health Officer Scott Harris said. "It takes a little bit of time in public health for us to confirm exactly why a death occurred, and we want to be accurate and make sure we understand exactly what occurred, so sometimes those reports come out a little more slowly than we would like."
Nicole said Albert Trousdale's family has been greatly moved by the community's response throughout the ordeal.
"People from all over offered to do anything they can and drop off anything they can," she said. "It's just a great community to be in."
She said arrangements will be announced after the family is out of quarantine.
Nicole said they have one additional major request: Play your part in the fight against coronavirus.
"Please, everyone take it seriously and stay at home," she said.