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App State Student Chad Dorrill Dies of Neurological Complications Related to COVID-19

19-year-old App State student Chad Dorrill

By Harley Nefe

Appalachian State University sophomore exercise science major Chad Dorrill, 19, was taken off of life support at Forsyth Medical Center in Winston-Salem on Sept. 28 at 8 p.m. He died from neurological complications related to COVID-19.

Dorrill had been living off campus and taking classes online when he started feeling unwell earlier this month. His mother encouraged him to return home, quarantine and be tested for COVID-19.

After testing positive for COVID-19 on Sept. 7 in his home county, Dorrill followed isolation procedures and quarantined for 10 days before he was cleared by his doctor to return to Boone. After his return, he had developed additional complications and was picked up by his family and hospitalized. 

In an announcement from Chancellor Sheri Everts on Sept. 29 confirming Dorrill’s death, she said, “The hearts of the entire Appalachian Community are with Chad’s family and loved ones during this profoundly difficult and painful time. Tributes shared by friends and loved ones show the positive impact Chad had on the communities he loved and called home, which included App State and Boone.”

The event has impacted the Boone community, North Carolina and even elsewhere as The New York Times, CBS News and CNBC published stories. 

Everts ended her announcement with the statement, “In condolences to his family, many have shared their memories of Chad and said, ‘I wear my mask for Chad.’ Please let us all honor Chad and his contributions by taking care of ourselves and our community.”

AppHealthCare released a statement regarding the recent passing of Dorrill, and it said:

“Our prayers and deepest sympathies are with the family of Chad Dorrill during this difficult time. We encourage everyone in our community to take this virus seriously. There are actions we can all take to lessen the impact of this virus and slow the spread in our community. We urge everyone to practice the 3Ws, avoid large gatherings and maintain good hygiene practices. Wear a cloth face covering over your nose and mouth anytime you will be around others who are not in your household or living space, wash your hands regularly or use hand sanitizer and wait at least 6 feet from others. Show Your Love to your loved ones and your community by practicing these very important prevention measures.”

University of North Carolina System President Peter Hans also issued a statement about Dorrill’s death:

“Any loss of life is a tragedy, but the grief cuts especially deep as we mourn a young man who had so much life ahead. I ache for the profound sadness that Chad Dorrill’s family is enduring right now. My heart goes out to the entire Appalachian State community. Our country is grappling with this continuing crisis on a scale that is difficult to comprehend. That does not diminish the acute pain we feel alongside Chad’s parents, family, and friends, the people whose loss is personal and irreplaceable. Chad’s family asked that this moment stand as a stark reminder of how Covid-19 is deadly serious for all of us, even for otherwise healthy young adults. We have a heightened duty to one another in these extraordinarily trying times, and we all need to remain vigilant. I join his family and Chancellor Everts in urging everyone to follow public health guidance by wearing a mask, washing hands, maintaining physical distance, and limiting gatherings.”

High Country Press’s original report of this story can be found here: https://www.hcpress.com/news/19-year-old-app-state-student-dies-from-covid-19-complications.html