A rising high school senior is mourning the loss of his parents after they died of COVID-19, just four days apart.
“I’m glad my mom and dad aren't suffering anymore. I’m glad they’re in a better place,” Justin Hunter, 17, told TODAY. "Knowing they’re back together, that brings me peace. My mom was grieving really bad."
Justin's father, Eugene Hunter, 59, passed away on July 26 at Emory Johns Creek Hospital, according to NBC affiliate WXIA of Atlanta. His wife of 35 years, Angie Hunter, took her final breath on July 30 at the same hospital. She was 56.
The couple, who lived in Johns Creek, Georgia, a suburb of Atlanta, were concerned about the coronavirus and took precautions to stay safe. Justin said he has no idea how his family contracted the virus.
Eugene’s symptoms started with a “really bad cough, a headache and a fever."
“A couple of days later, my mom had the same thing,” Justin said.
Justin tested positive for COVID-19, but remains asymptomatic and feels “completely fine."
Angie, a human resources executive, and Eugene, a musician, had been happily hunkering down at home amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“My parents loved sitting at the table together,” Justin recalled. “He’d be practicing his saxophone and she’d be doing paperwork. They couldn’t get enough of each other.”
Justin noted that when Eugene and Angie did venture out, they practiced social distancing and followed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance. Angie even disinfected groceries before putting them away in the kitchen.
“She wore gloves at the store," Justin revealed. “She was taking extra precautions. We all were.”
Justin, an only child, said goodbye to both his parents on the phone. His final words to both of them were, "I love you."
“We always ended our conversations with ‘I love you.' Even if we were having an argument, we signed off with 'I love you,'" Justin said.
Justin is currently staying with his cousins. The varsity football player, who hopes to play in college next year, is determined to make his parents proud.
"I'm going to do everything in their name and for them," Justin told TODAY. "I have to keep moving forward."