Shoals family shares agony of losing loved one to coronavirus

The Trousdale family told WAAY 31 they can't mourn like a family normally would because of the virus.

Posted: Mar 27, 2020 4:09 PM
Updated: Mar 27, 2020 7:01 PM

Albert Johnson Trousdale died Thursday at Huntsville Hospital only days after being diagnosed with coronavirus.

Most who knew him called him, Johnson.

His son, Matthew, described the 78-year-old as pretty healthy. He ran about six miles a day. He had some heart problems in the past and recently had hip replacement surgery.

Matthew Trousdale said his dad didn't have a bad cough in mid-March or any other symptoms besides a low fever.

They went to the hospital and found blood clots in Johnson's legs, then last week he was tested for coronavirus.

While in the hospital, the test came back positive on Saturday March 21. Matthew was the last person to be with his father. The Trousdale family told WAAY 31 the hardest part was not being there when he passed away Thursday.

Matthew said the nurses, specifically a nurse named Lauren in ICU, and the doctors were so amazing to them. Matthew said in those last moments nurse Lauren FaceTimed the family and showed them what was happending and being done.

"I hollered I loved him," said Matthew.

Matthew's wife, Nicole, said they got to tell Johnson they loved him one last time.

"I ended up telling him, I said Nancy loves you, Matt loves you, Julie loves you, and I love you, and we're so sorry we can't be there because we wanted one last message," said Nicole.

Matthew said by the end of the family saying their goodbyes, nurse Lauren was crying as much as them.

The Trousdales said that's been the worst part. The not being there, not being able to hold Johnson's hand, not being able to surround him as he passed.

They still don't know what funeral services they can have.

Matthew and his wife, Nicole, talked with WAAY 31 via phone on Friday. The whole family is quarantined right now,but none of them are showing symptoms.

Matthew and Nicole said they can't even grieve like normal because they can't leave their house and go hug Matt's mom, Nancy. They can't hug anyone or be consoled.

The couple said out of everyone in the family, Nancy has been the strongest through all of this. Matthew said she told him she's prayed a lot. Nancy and Johnson all went to church in Elgin and live in Elgin.

The family said Johnson was the kind of guy who would do anyting for anyone. They said people didn't have to ask him for help he just happened to show up and help.

They said he was a busy man, too. From business to family matters. If anyone Johnson knew or their family member was sick and in the hospital he would go drop in. He was the kind of person that was just there when you really needed him.

The family started a Facebook page so people could keep up with his health.

Since he's passed Matthew and Nicole said people from all over have messaged the Facebook page sharing stories of Johnson or just sending kind words.

The family said that means the most to them right now. They are asking for prayers as they navigate this unknown time we are all in.

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