A longtime doctor in Georgia has died after losing his months-long battle with COVID-19—which his family says he contracted when he risked exposure to help an infected elderly patient to his car. Dr. John D. Marshall Jr., 74, is thought to be the first physician in the state to die from the virus. An Air Force veteran and former president of an NAACP chapter, Marshall “served up until the time he could not,” his brother Charles told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Thursday. The doctor fell sick in late March, and his condition deteriorated rapidly; he spent 111 days on a ventilator before his body succumbed to COVID-19. “It was like he just said, ‘No, the fight is over,’” his niece Leslie Marshall told the Journal-Constitution. “He had been fighting all his life.” His death sparked mourning throughout the community in Americus, where he’d served as a doctor for three decades and was known for his commitment to civil rights. “He was one of the greatest doctors in Americus, certainly, and a great citizen,” Bishop Melvin McCuster, senior pastor of Friendship Missionary Baptist Church, was quoted as saying.
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