Son loses both parents to COVID-19 related deaths in Columbus

Updated: Sep. 23, 2020 at 11:42 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - The fight against COVID-19 has taken a toll on one Columbus family.

Andrew McBride was laid to rest Wednesday after spending more than a month in the hospital battling the virus. He died exactly one month after his wife Dr. Betty Jean McBride, a beloved educator, also passed away from the virus.

Demetrius McBride, a COVID-19 survivor himself, said while losing both of his parents is extremely difficult, he’s able to smile knowing his parents are together once again. Following his mom’s passing, Demetrius McBride said his dad’s health was somewhat up and down before finally being put on a ventilator two weeks before he died.

Demetrius McBride, his wife, and both of his parents all tested positive for COVID-19 this summer. His 71-year-old mother, affectionately known as “BJ”, died August 15. Exactly one month later, Demetrius McBride’s 67-year-old dad also died from COVID-19 complications Sept. 15.

“They’re reunited. It was time, I feel. My mother may have been calling home or my father was ready to go see his bride again," McBride said.

Demetrius McBride has faith in knowing how his parents raised him and that they’re no longer hurting.

“Is it difficult, yes. Have I shed many tears, yes. But I can also smile because I feel, no I know, that they trained up a child in the way that he should go. They trained me properly," he said.

He said it’s incumbent upon him to make them proud.

“For them to smile down on me to see that every lesson they taught me, every bible verse, every scripture, every just talk that we’ve had in life resonated and made an impact in my life that I can continue to move forward and only hope to be as half as good as they were in the community and in the church," Demetrius McBride explained.

He said it’s not a matter of him staying strong, but leaning on the strength of others, including his wife. During these difficult times, Demetrius McBride holds onto the hope brighter days are always ahead.

“Flowers need water to grow, so it has to rain. So, I hope to grow through this situation. Though I may not see the forest or the trees in my current present time, I trust that there’s a beautiful forest to look at once I’m able to step back and see the sunshine," he said.

Demetrius McBride’s dad retired from Synovus at the beginning of this year after nearly 30 years. He said his dad was adamant about voting and had been looking forward to registering to be a voter’s assistant. Demetrius McBride asks the community to please exercise their right to vote.

Andrew McBride’s funeral service was held Wednesday at Green Acres Cemetery.

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