Cobb County

Cobb County teacher on life support after contracting COVID-19

COBB COUNTY, Ga. — A community is rallying behind a teacher who’s in the biggest fight of his life.

Patrick Key is battling coronavirus and has spent the last week in critical care on a ventilator at WellStar Kennestone Hospital in Marietta.

Key is an art teacher at Hendricks Elementary School in Powder Springs.

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Channel 2 Cobb County bureau chief Chris Jose learned his wife, Priscella Key, also has coronavirus.

She’s a teacher at Clay-Harmony Leland in Mableton and is at home recovering.

School district leaders told Jose it’s believed Patrick Key was exposed to the virus at school. Jose learned the teacher received a letter from public health officials.


“She’s not able to be by his side knowing that her life partner is somewhere else, fighting for his life and she can’t be with him,” said parent Laura Zhiss.

Zhiss’ children are older now. A few years ago, Priscella Key taught them in the first grade.

“Just breaks all of our hearts. It’s horrible,” said Zhiss.

Priscella Key was not up for an interview on Monday, but she did provide a timeline.

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On Friday, Nov. 6, Patrick Key came home from school and started to feel sick. Two days later, Priscella Key came down with symptoms. The couple tested positive for COVID-19 the next day.

Six days after they got tested, Patrick Key felt worse. The Keys called 911 and paramedics rushed him to the hospital. On Nov. 18, doctors transferred Key to the intensive care unit and placed him on a ventilator and hooked him up to an ECMO life support system and kidney dialysis machine.

In an update on his GoFundMe page on Monday, it said Patrick had a tracheotomy. He remains on a ventilator.

His GoFundMe page has raised more than $12,000.