Decatur man, a father of four, dies from COVID-19. He was 48.Matt Lindsey. Image provided to Decaturish
Decatur, GA – Matt Lindsey died from COVID-19 at Emory Decatur Hospital on Saturday night, April 11.
He was 48 and a father of four: three boys — all grown — and a daughter who is 14.
His ex-wife, AnnaLisa Silliman-Patterson, was still close with the father of her children and said he lived “literally around the corner” from her Decatur home.
Silliman-Patterson said she wanted to share his story, “If it would make a difference and save some other kids’ dad.”
She said Lindsey started coughing on March 17 or March 18. At first, the family doctor thought it might be caused by acid reflux.
“Then it sort of got progressively worse from there,” Silliman-Patterson said.
When he developed a fever, he contacted the doctor again, who ordered a test for him. On the morning of the test, April 2, he was having trouble breathing so he went to the emergency room, where he received oxygen and fluids. When he was well enough, he went back home. Things seemed to be improving.
She said on April 4, “He sent a text to all of us and said, ‘I’m feeling a lot better.'”
Later that night, he had trouble breathing again. That night he walked into the hospital. On April 5, the ICU called Silliman-Patterson to say they had intubated him, putting him into a medically induced coma.
“He was the sickest patient they had seen,” Silliman-Patterson said.
Her ex-husband’s condition got better and worse throughout the week until he took a turn for the worse on Friday and never recovered. No family members were with him when he died. They weren’t allowed to be there.
Lindsey and Silliman-Patterson raised their children together in the city of Decatur and sent their children to the city’s schools. They divorced in 2015 after being married 21 years, but remained close, spending holidays together and giving each other an assist when needed. When his apartment burned down, he lived in Silliman-Patterson’s basement for a time.
Silliman-Patterson doesn’t know where her husband may have caught the virus. He worked at a big industrial bakery in Tucker and said his employer was shocked to hear about his condition.
Aside from being overweight, Lindsey had no health conditions. He taught yoga and tai chi and often took his daughter hiking. He had recently started going to the gym again and had seasonal allergies.
Silliman-Patterson said people need to take this virus seriously.
“For the most part you can take precautions,” she said. “When you see people playing basketball together, just hanging out at the store, I just want to scream at them and say, ‘This could be your family member.'”
For more information about the coronavirus, visit the CDC website by clicking here.
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