Gwinnett County man battling COVID-19 is also mourning father who died from it

Gwinnett County man battling COVID-19 is also mourning father who died from it

GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. — A Gwinnett County father is dead after battling COVID-19 while his son sits in a Johns Creek hospital fighting the exact same virus.

Channel 2′s Tony Thomas spoke to 29-year-old Joshua Elbaz from his Emory Johns Creek hospital bed where he’s being treated for both COVID-19 and pneumonia, Elbaz lost his father, Robert, who had Type-2 diabetes, the previous week.

“I had mentioned I wanted to take him to the hospital a couple of times and he just didn’t want to go,” Elbaz said.

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Thomas talked to Elbaz about how he’s been feeling.

“Horrible. Fever, body aches everywhere. Headache. I lost my sense of smell and taste,” Elbaz said.

Elbaz told Thomas his father refused to go to the hospital and the family believes Joshua’s grandmother brought the virus home after a short stay at an area rehab center in June.

“My grandmother she lived with me and my father. She fell about a month ago,” Elbaz said. “Then she ended up then transferred to a rehab facility. When she came home she was pretty sick.”

His 87-year-old grandmother recovered. His father’s health, however, continued to fail.

“The thing is, he didn’t have a fever and he didn’t have a lot of the symptoms that are listed,” Elbaz said.


The Gwinnett County Department of Health says over 16,000 cases have been reported in the county, with more than 2,000 people hospitalized. According to the state Department of Public Health, the county is second in the state for positive tests.

Elbaz appears to be recovering and he hopes to be home later this week. He has a warning for anyone who thinks the virus is not serious.

“If you don’t think it’s real, I’m in the hospital right now hooked to oxygen and my dad just died,” Elbaz said. “A lot of people need to take this seriously. It’s not a joke, it’s not a game.”

Georgians continue to be frustrated by long wait times for COVID-19 test results