This 19-year-old Chad Dorrill died on Monday night after suffering neurological complications related to COVID-19.
Dorill was a sophomore at Appalachian State University in Bula State University, was living online and taking online classes when he contracted bite symptoms. “His mother encouraged him to come home, quarantine and get examined,” said Dr Everts.
He tested positive for the coronavirus on Sept. 7 and quarantined for 10 days before returning to Boone, according to his uncle David Dorrill, who said he lives seven houses away from the family in Wallburg, N.C., near Winston-Salem.
He said that after his nephew returned to college, he almost immediately began experiencing serious neurological problems.
“When he tried to get out of bed,” Mr. Dorrill said, “his legs were not working, and my brother had to carry him to the car and take him to the emergency room. The doctor said it was a one-in-a-million case — that they’d never seen something progress the way it did. It was a Covid complication that rather than attacking his respiratory system attacked his brain.”
Although the coronavirus targets the lungs foremost, it also attacks the kidneys, liver and blood vessels, and a significant number of patients report neurological symptoms, including headaches, confusion and delirium.
Although colleges and universities have become hot spots in the pandemic, young, healthy people generally have been at lower risk for developing severe forms of Covid-19. Only a few deaths among American college students have been linked to the virus, including a football player at California University of Pennsylvania.
“Chad was so kind,” Ms. Maxcy said. “Always a smile. Always a dance. He was that kid that everybody loved.”
David Dorrill said an autopsy was being conducted. “He was healthy,” Mr. Dorrill said of his nephew. “He was in tremendous shape. Skinny. Could run six miles without any issue. He ran with us less than three weeks ago, in fact. He was healthy — until this hit.”
Mr. Dorrill said it was not clear how his nephew had contracted the virus. “He told us he was always careful to wear a mask.”