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Florida man dies of COVID minutes before his first grandchild is born. ‘My heart broke’

·2 min read

A man died just minutes before becoming a first-time grandfather, USA Today first reported.

Shane O’Neal, 40, died Sept. 3 in a Jacksonville-area hospital, on his grandson’s birthday. His daughter, Kylie Dean, told the outlet her father passed away at about 3:30 a.m.; her baby boy, Preston, was born at 3:49 a.m.

Dean, an ICU nurse, told the news outlet that O’Neal had contracted the virus in early August. His symptoms only worsened after developing pneumonia and getting intubated.

His health quickly spiraled after his doctors couldn’t secure an ECMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation) machine, due to an overwhelming number of COVID patients, the new mom told News 4 Jax.

As a young man with no othe rillnesses, O’Neal was a perfect candidate for an ECMO, the new mom added.

O’Neal, who eventually went into organ failure, had reportedly planned on getting vaccinated the week he fell ill.

A funeral for the Maxville, Florida, native was held Sept. 10. That same day, on Facebook, Dean wrote a tribute to her dad, an avid fisherman, with a picture of a onesie that reads, “Papa’s New Fishing Buddy.”

Dean, an ICU nurse, tells her friends and followers how tough it was that morning to get the early morning phone call from his doctors informing her that he wouldn’t make it to see the birth.

Kentucky bride-to-be who was concerned about COVID vaccine dies of virus at age 29

“My heart broke as I knew Preston was losing one of the best people that would’ve been in his life. My heart broke as I remembered the last conversation with him in the hospital,” the post said. “My heart broke remembering the words I told my dad as he was laying in a hospital bed intubated, sedated and paralyzed with a nurse holding the FaceTime up to his ear. My heart breaks tonight, looking at the faces that filled the church building for his service. We laid a great man to rest today.”

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