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Lauderdale County family hurt by claims father didn’t die of coronavirus, asks for empathy

Albert Johnson Trousdale died at the age of 78 on March 26th.

Posted: Sep 10, 2020 8:46 PM
Updated: Sep 10, 2020 9:25 PM

The family of the first man to officially die of coronavirus in Lauderdale County is speaking out about how they've been treated since his death.

Albert Johnson Trousdale, known as Johnson, Died from the virus back in march. His family told us he had some health complications and had just had hip replacement surgery when he got the virus.

He passed away at Huntsville Hospital. His family couldn't be by his side because of the virus.

WAAY 31 spoke with Matthew Trousdale, Johnson's son, and Matthew's wife, Nicole. Matthew and Nicole said the pain of losing Johnson has been immeasurable for the whole family, but what makes it worse are all the comments people make to them about the virus being a hoax or throwing out consipracy theories.

"For some reason this pandemic, and the way the virus is, people kind of ignore there are real people behind this situation," said Matthew Trousdale.

Matthew Trousdale said he never thought he'd have to defend his dad's death certificate.

"I'll have people come up to me and say, I'm sorry about your dad but you know if the Democrats would do this or if the Republicans would do that or it's all a hoax or overblown. No matter what they say I still have a tombstone to look at. It's real hard to convince me it's a hoax, or anything else especially when I seen all the symptoms he went through," said Matthew Trousdale.

Matthew said people come up to his family and give their political opinions of how his dad died and the petty arguments over masks. Matthew said normally when you lose someone close people rally around you, but this virus has divided people instead.

"If we had the mindset that happened with 9/11 instead of fighting over masks, we'd be knocking each other down to figure out how to make more masks," said Matthew Trousdale.

To this family this isn't a hoax. They lost their father and grandfather. Nancy Trousdale lost her husband of 63 years. This nation and the state lost a veteran who served in the Army and Alabama National Guard for 21 years. Johnson was still serving his community and church until he started to run a high fever and the virus took him on March 26.

"It's an empty spot you know. You're used to every night making that phone call before supper or after supper and he's not there to make that phone call to," said Nicole Trousdale, Johnson's daughter-in-law.

In Alabama, more than 2,100 people have died of the virus. Matthew Trousdale said he knows his family members aren't the only ones going through this emotional toll when people question him on how his dad died or claim it's a hoax.

"Treat people like you'd want to be treated. If your mother, daddy, brother, or sister died do you want to hear someone's political views on how they died? You probably don't. To me, condolences and a good story about dad. Hey, that's what I need, that's what mom needs," said Matthew Trousdale.

Matthew Trousdale and his family said they hope people don't get mad at them for speaking up, and said people just need to show a little more empathy. He said for every hurtful comment they've heard there are still great people who have helped them during this time.

He said many of the people who make the comments are good people, too. He knows he could call them if he ran out of gas.

The Trousdale family just wants people to understand what they are going through and how to talk with families who have lost loved ones to the virus.

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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 134231

Reported Deaths: 2357
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson19441349
Mobile13271291
Montgomery8778179
Madison775480
Tuscaloosa7496119
Shelby584951
Lee582961
Baldwin516550
Marshall390944
Calhoun346641
Etowah342047
Morgan325428
Houston278123
Elmore263247
DeKalb239120
Walker228483
St. Clair227837
Talladega212728
Limestone206120
Cullman188519
Dallas177426
Franklin175529
Russell17442
Autauga173825
Lauderdale168233
Colbert163626
Blount159415
Escambia158425
Jackson154611
Chilton153531
Dale135444
Covington134427
Coffee13078
Pike11879
Chambers115142
Tallapoosa114685
Clarke107717
Marion95729
Butler91339
Barbour8577
Winston73712
Marengo70820
Lowndes65327
Pickens65114
Bibb64210
Randolph63713
Hale62828
Lawrence60922
Geneva5995
Bullock59814
Cherokee59115
Monroe5818
Clay5707
Washington55613
Perry5407
Conecuh53111
Crenshaw53132
Wilcox53111
Henry4865
Macon48020
Fayette4438
Sumter43419
Lamar3632
Choctaw34612
Cleburne3396
Greene30315
Coosa1673
Out of AL00
Unassigned00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 187690

Reported Deaths: 2312
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Shelby30460452
Davidson26252298
Hamilton928791
Knox918175
Rutherford915088
Williamson516536
Sumner475896
Wilson341844
Putnam320139
Montgomery302244
Out of TN296825
Unassigned29145
Bradley289317
Madison280061
Sevier257015
Blount247723
Maury230923
Washington223935
Robertson219035
Sullivan212133
Hamblen188525
Tipton178118
Trousdale16517
Gibson160922
Hardeman154826
Wayne14905
Bedford132017
Dyer131813
Dickson123515
Cumberland117518
Fayette117418
Coffee116613
Weakley115719
Anderson115312
Henderson115322
Carter114728
Obion11389
Loudon11356
Greene112943
McMinn110025
Jefferson109714
Macon103520
Warren10267
Monroe102217
Lawrence101211
Hardin100516
Lauderdale95915
Haywood95418
Franklin9518
Lake9142
Roane8724
Carroll85819
Bledsoe8494
McNairy84218
White8139
Cheatham80610
Rhea79812
Hawkins78316
Cocke7419
Marshall7415
Overton7135
Smith69810
Johnson6752
Henry6139
Chester60910
Lincoln6031
Giles58017
Hickman5585
DeKalb55213
Crockett52919
Marion5187
Decatur5037
Fentress4713
Claiborne4405
Campbell4314
Polk38210
Grainger3633
Union3471
Benton3349
Jackson3175
Morgan3113
Unicoi2831
Cannon2800
Grundy2685
Humphreys2443
Sequatchie2293
Meigs2233
Clay2205
Houston2083
Scott2072
Stewart1902
Lewis1851
Moore1641
Van Buren1600
Perry1490
Pickett1102
Hancock1063

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