FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- The family of Jacob Deare told ABC11 that the 28-year-old lived a healthy life. They are still in disbelief that in three short months COVID-19 ravaged his body, which caused him to develop other health issues and eventually die.
"He was always healthy," said Jacob's mother Alice Deare. "Always running and outside. He loved the outdoors."
His dreadful journey with the virus started in August once he was admitted to Cape Fear Valley Hospital.
"We had a thing where I would say, 'Do you have anything you have to tell me?' and he'd say, 'I love you to infinity and beyond.' That was the last he said to me on our last visit," said Alice Deare. Jacob's mother. "We were very concerned at first because when the doctors called they said he is a very sick boy. The doctors said he may not make it out of this."
Jacob Deare spent 84 days in the hospital, including 17 days on a ventilator in the intensive care unit. He was released once he tested negative for the virus, but re-admitted a few days later for developing inflammation of the heart, brain bleeding, and a host of other health issues. According to his mother, he lost about 50 pounds.
While he was in the hospital, he asked his nurse, who is an ordained minister to baptize him.
"I honestly believe he knew he had to get right with God before anything happened," said Alice Deare.
The family started a GoFundMe to help with hospital expenses and for his two sons Caleb and Kylar.
Jacob Deare's grieving mother shared piercing words, asking everyone to take COVID-19 seriously.
"I'm struggling really hard. I never thought or knew I would bury my baby," Alice Deare said.