26-year-old Chicago man dies of COVID-19 after thinking he had cold

Coronavirus

CHICAGO — The family of a young man, who has become one of the city’s latest COVID-19 victims, is speaking out after passed way.

Xavier Gaines, 26, died Dec. 2 after feeling ill for some time. He made it into an ambulance, but never made it to the hospital.

Gaines holed himself up inside his West Pullman home, doing all the things people regularly do, when sick, something he rarely was.

“I just feel like I couldn’t protect him and it hurts it really hurts,” older sister Janiece Vaughn said. “He was experiencing honestly cold-like symptoms.”

Vaughn said he didn’t think he was battling COVID-19.

“He thought he was ok and wanted to keep himself in his room and just kick it and I think things turned for the worse,” Vaughn said.

On Dec. 2, they did. In his room, Gaines was struggling to breathe. Gasping for air, he made it outside and was able to get into an ambulance.

“They said that he had passed on the way,” Vaughn said.

While Gaines was a big guy and being overweight has been linked to more severe cases of COVID-19, he was still a very young man. A month ago, Gaines tested negative for COVID-19 and he figured he had a cold.

His funeral is now planned for Dec. 19.

To donate to the family’s GoFundMe, click here.

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