COVID-19 took the life of a retired Mountie from Maple Ridge in a matter of weeks and now his son is hoping his story will help educate the public about the seriousness of the virus.
John Fox died on April 6 after being diagnosed with COVID-19 just two weeks earlier, John’s son Ron Fox told The News.
“I really just want people to know it’s real and can happen to anyone,” said Ron. “Age doesn’t matter, race doesn’t matter.”
John was a volunteer with North Fraser Therapeutic Riding Association and often dressed up as the mascot for the Sunshine Foundation of Canada.
“He was loving, kind hearted and (I) have heard this lots from people – ‘larger than life,’” Ron recalled about his father.
John was known “not to sit still.” He enjoyed curling, hiking, kayaking and golf.
He was also involved with his grandchildren’s team sports like hockey and ball hockey.
“He was always willing to help whatever the circumstances,” said Ron.
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On March 18, John was admitted to Ridge Meadows Hospital with a fever and respiratory issues.
Days earlier John had a visit to a dentist and played 18 holes of golf, but it’s unclear where the virus was contracted.
On March 25, John was transferred to the intensive care unit at Abbotsford hospital where he was sedated and put on a ventilator, according to Ron.
On April 4, a doctor arranged for a virtual conference call with the Fox family where they learned John would not survive.
“He passed early morning on (April) 6th with a nurse holding his hand and she called my mom crying to tell her the news,” Ron recalled. “I think given the situation and circumstances the [doctors], nurses and all medical staff did an amazing job in a horrible situation.”
The retired Mountie leaves behind his wife Margaret, three kids and six grandchildren.
“One of the reasons he was always giving blood was because of the tragic accidents he witnessed in his career,” said Ron. “Also, after he retired whenever he saw a police officer anywhere he would make a point to say thank you to them for what they do.”
Sharing John’s story showed people the seriousness of the virus and not just a stat, Ron said.