A Pennsylvania restaurant owner says he’s been overwhelmed by the community support for his family after both his father and son died within about 36 hours of each other from Covid-19.
Alan Collins Jr. told CNN that his father, Alan Collins Sr., died on September 28 at a Pittsburgh hospital. His son Alan David Brown Sr. died the next day.
Collins said his son, who also lived in the Pittsburgh area, was just 35 and married with four children.
“He had a lot to live for, believe me, he was a great kid. He did so much for the public,” Collins said. “He’s a good man. A very, very good father.”
Collins said his father and son don’t live in the same households and it was just coincidence that they got sick at around the same time.
He said his father was turning 72, but looked like he was in his 60s and was in great shape.
Collins said his father loved to fish and hunt and would go to casinos because “he loved to gamble, too.”
“He was a good man and he was very loved also,” Collins said. “Anybody who came in contact with he loved him. I’m still getting texts from people that he worked with and people that knew him over the years.”
His father had been vaccinated and recently got his third shot, but he’d also had a kidney transplant a few years ago, which Collins thought may have left him more vulnerable.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued guidance on September 24 allowing third doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine to be administered to some adults — including people over 65 and younger people with underlying health conditions.
His father seemed like he’d gotten a mild case at first, but after a few days his condition worsened and he had to go to the hospital and had to go on a ventilator, Collins said.
Collins said his father wasn’t conscious when he got to visit him in the hospital.
“So that was the only time I got to see him is to say goodbye to him,” Collins said.
Collins said he’d just gotten home after his father died when he got a call from his daughter-in-law, who said she was taking his son to the hospital. Brown’s family had also gotten Covid and he’d been sick for several days.
Brown had not yet been vaccinated and Collins said he was still deciding what to do.
His son had to go on a ventilator and died the next day, said Collins, who has been vaccinated.
Collins said his son was popular and active in the community and was like a big brother to all his cousins.
He’d just gotten a promotion at the bank where he worked and ran a large Facebook group for sneaker fans in the Pittsburgh area that had recently run a shoe drive for kids in the community.
“He was doing big, great things,” Collins said.
They’d often get together to watch sports and were fans of the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Pitt Panthers.
Collins said the family has been trying to stay strong for Brown’s children, but it’s been hard.
“They loved him so much and he loved them the same way,” Collins said.
A GoFundMe campaign has been set up to pay Brown’s funeral expenses and to help care for his family.
Collins said the support he’s gotten from the community has been unreal. “My heart is so full of love and joy from all these people that are given their support to me and my family right now,” he said.
He said he’s closed his restaurant while his family prepares for the funerals.
His father’s service is scheduled for Thursday; his son’s funeral will be on Friday.
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