Cobb County teacher battling COVID-19 in ICU

Patrick Key, a Cobb County elementary school art teacher was rushed to the hospital Nov. 15. A GoFundMe page has been created to help Key and his wife, Priscella, pay for medical expenses related to his COVID-9 diagnosis. Credit: Patrick and Priscella Key
Patrick Key, a Cobb County elementary school art teacher was rushed to the hospital Nov. 15. A GoFundMe page has been created to help Key and his wife, Priscella, pay for medical expenses related to his COVID-9 diagnosis. Credit: Patrick and Priscella Key

Credit: Patrick and Priscella Key

Credit: Patrick and Priscella Key

A Cobb County School District teacher is fighting for his life after he was rushed to the hospital last week with COVID-19.

Patrick Key, an art teacher at Hendricks Elementary School in Powder Springs, is on a ventilator in the ICU at a local hospital, according to a GoFundMe page created Saturday by long-time friend and fellow Cobb teacher Merry Mullins to help Key and his wife, Priscella, with medical bills.

Key was taken by ambulance Nov. 15 to the hospital and “has been struggling all week,” Mullins said Saturday.

“I’ve personally known him for over 25 years and can tell you that he is one of the most giving humans I have ever met,” Mullins wrote on the page.

As of Monday, $10,600 has been raised for the Keys, with a goal of $25,000.

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Priscella Key, who also has COVID-19, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that in addition to ventilator, her husband is on a life support machine for his heart and lungs, and is getting dialysis for his kidneys. She said the doctors at WellStar Kennestone Hospital, where her husband is in ICU, will perform a tracheotomy with the hopes of taking him off the ventilator later Monday or Tuesday.

Key said her husband started feeling ill on Friday, Nov. 6. By that Sunday, she was also sick. On Nov. 9, they both took rapid tests, which came back positive for COVID-19. The Keys both ran fevers and had chills and body aches throughout the week. A family doctor on Friday, Nov. 13 told them to buy a pulse oximeter so they could track their blood oxygen levels. If their levels dropped below 85%, they were to go to urgent care, Priscella Key said.

By Sunday, Patrick Key’s blood oxygen level dropped to 76%, so they called an ambulance. Key was admitted to Kennestone’s critical care unit. When he began to experience respiratory failure, he was placed on a ventilator, dialysis and the machine that performs the work of his heart and lungs. He was then moved to the ICU.

Priscella Key, who is at home recovering from COVID-19, said the doctors and nurses at WellStar Kennestone Hospital “have been amazing.”

“They have been so compassionate and have communicated with us and have been very patient with us,” she said. “Their team deserves a huge outpouring of thanks and recognition for what they did.”

Priscella Key said she is also “overwhelmed with gratitude” from the community support they have received. On Sunday, a group of teachers went to the Key home and cleaned up the family’s yard.

“It was amazing to see that many people who wanted to help,” she said. “It really is heartwarming to feel the love and support that the community is giving.”

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