Beloved coach, teacher dies of COVID-19 at 36 despite being vaccinated

HENRY COUNTY, Ga. — A popular teacher and coach in Henry County died of COVID-19 despite being vaccinated.

Walter Kearse IV, who taught at Luella Middle School, was just 36 years old.

Channel 2′s Tom Jones talked to his wife, Quinyonia Kearse, who still believes everyone should get vaccinated.

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Kearse said her husband called her from the hospital to tell her he had COVID-19.

“I said, ‘You’re vaccinated,’” Kearse said. “I know you can still get it but it’s not supposed to make you this sick.”

Walter Kearse died on Aug. 13. His wife said he tested negative for the virus three times before he went back to the doctor and finally tested positive.

While he was in the hospital, he posted a video to social media.

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“COVID is real, y’all. Been here since Friday,” Walter Kearse said. “Fully vaccinated. Please man, take care of yourself. This thing is not fun.”

Days later, Kearse got the call that her husband had died.

Even though he was vaccinated, she is still urging people to get their shots.

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I want people to get vaccinated. Wear your mask. Sanitize your hands. Stay six feet apart,” Kearse said.

Walter Kearse had some underlying health issues, but those had improved to the point that his doctor was weaning him off medication, his wife said.

She said she’s not sure where he got the virus.