Cobb teacher dies Christmas Day after battle with COVID-19

Credit: Patrick and Priscella Key

Credit: Patrick and Priscella Key

A Cobb County elementary school teacher died Friday after his month-long battle with COVID-19.

Patrick Key, who taught art at Hendricks Elementary School in Powder Springs, died Christmas Day, according to his wife Priscella Key.

Priscella Key, who teaches at Clay-Harmony Leland Elementary in Mableton, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Christmas Day that she has “lost my world and my heart is shattered.”

“Patrick was the kindest, sweetest, most gentle man that never wished harm on anyone,” she said. “The world has truly lost a very good person.”

A GoFundMe page created by fellow Cobb teacher Merry Mullins to help the Key family with medical bills carried the news.

“Christmas morning Heaven gained the sweetest angel this morning,” Mullins wrote on the page. “Although he fought so very hard, Patrick’s poor body was so tired. He is at peace and we have lost our world. Our hearts are shattered. Please don’t call me as I can’t talk and need some time.”

After feeling ill on Nov. 6, Key was admitted Nov. 15 to WellStar Kennestone Hospital’s intensive care unit after he began struggling to breathe. Within days of his illness, his wife also became sick with COVID-19. Priscella Key’s illness wasn’t as severe, so she was allowed to recuperate and recover at home.

Patrick Key is one of three known Cobb County educators who have been hospitalized with COVID-19. Dana Johnson, a Kemp Elementary School first-grade teacher, is in the intensive care unit at WellStar Paulding Hospital after she was admitted on Dec. 6. Jacob Furse, a Garrett Middle School chorus and drama teacher, has been hospitalized for a week at WellStar Kennestone Hospital’s unit reserved for COVID patients.

As of Thursday, Cobb County had 34,247 COVID-19 cases, 539 deaths and 2,321 hospitalizations, according to the state Department of Public Health. The county’s two-week case number per 100,000 people is 634, six times higher than what’s considered high community spread, DPH reports.