34-year-old California man dies from COVID-19, friend says it should be a wake-up call

GLENDORA, Calif. -- A 34-year-old California man is being remembered as a beloved friend after he became one of the five people in Los Angeles County who have lost their life to COVID-19, the disease caused by novel coronavirus.

Jeff Ghazarian died last week at Huntington Hospital in Pasadena after spending five days hooked up to a ventilator. Ghazarian might have been a higher risk patient because he had issues with asthma and bronchitis as a child.

Lisa Dubler studied with Ghazarian at the University of Redlands, where the two were members of the co-ed business fraternity Delta Sigma Pi.

"Jeff was the most beloved person of this fraternity and of the Redlands community more generally," said Dubler. "He just had a lot of love and humor and could approach and talk to anyone. He could talk to a wall and the wall would be happy to hear from him."

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Ghazarian began experiencing symptoms of coronavirus on March 7 while in Orlando, and when he arrived back in Los Angeles two days later, was taken to an emergency room where a chest x-ray showed he had pneumonia.

The coronavirus test came back positive on March 13. Dubler had been following the updates from Ghazarian's sister on Facebook. Ghazarian was a fighter who survived testicular cancer in 2016, his family said, adding that he fought hard in an attempt to beat coronavirus.

"Sharing Jeff's story is really in the worst way, a reminder of how horrific this disease is and the importance of staying home," said Dubler. "And acknowledging that anyone and everyone can get this and we all have a responsibility a social responsibility to protect ourselves, our loved ones and our community."

Lisa Dubler says Ghazarian's passing should serve as wake-up call for younger people in their 20s and 30s who may think they're invulnerable to COVID-19.

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