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Decatur man, beloved father of 4 loses fight to COVID-19

He admitted himself to the hospital after suffering a lingering cough.

DECATUR, Ga. — A beloved father of four from Decatur lost his battle against COVID-19 over the weekend, his ex-wife said on Monday. He was just 48-years-old and "otherwise healthy," she said.

"We are in absolute awe of the outpouring of love for our Matt," AnnaLisa Silliman said. "It is and helps ease the pain of losing him to know he mattered to so many."

Matthew Lindsey, the father of Silliman's four children, drove himself to Emory Hospital in Decatur after experiencing a lingering cough on April 4. He never made it back home. 

On April 5, Silliman got a call saying Lindsey had been moved to the intensive care unit and was fighting for his life. She said she was also told he was the sickest patient with COVID19 at the hospital. 

When 11Alive told the story of Lindsey last week, Silliman said:

"He's on a ventilator, he's in a coma, they've put him in a coma and they've purposely paralyzed him so that he won't fight against the machine," Silliman explained. She added that he's also on dialysis, as his kidneys have started to fail him. She said he's beyond critically ill."

And now, she said, they plan to cremate his remains and will have a celebration of his life at a later time when his friends and family can all gather together. 

A GoFundMe page was set up for the cremation with a $1,200 goal. It is nearing $6,000 already. 

She said they are going to use the additional funds and donate them to two organizations "that meant the world to him and our family." One is called Moving In The Spirit and the other is a group that provides music instruction and instruments to children who would not be able to afford it.

Just under 500 people in Georgia have lost their lives due to COVID-19. There are more than 13,000 confirmed cases as of Noon on Monday. 

11Alive is focusing our news coverage on the facts and not the fear around the virus. We want to keep you informed about the latest developments while ensuring that we deliver confirmed, factual information.

We will track the most important coronavirus elements relating to Georgia on this page. Refresh often for new information.

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