tombstone with flowers

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A Detroit man lost his life to coronavirus after three different emergency rooms in the city reportedly denied him COVID-19 testing and treatment.

Gary Fowler, 56, died in his home in Grosse Pointe Woods, Michigan home on April 7th. Now his family is sharing his tragic story with the press as they believe race played a role in Fowler’s inability to receive effective and life-saving medical treatment.

From CBS News:

“He was begging for his life, but no one would help him at all. Like they just kept sending him away,” said Keith Gambrell, the stepson of 56-year-old Gary Fowler. Gambrell said he was concerned his stepfather had coronavirus. He took him to three different emergency rooms and said each time, Fowler was not admitted and not tested, despite having many of the symptoms. “I honestly believe it was because my father was black. They didn’t honestly take his symptoms serious enough to give him a test,” Gambrell told “CBS This Morning” national correspondent Jericka Duncan. 

According to Keith Gabrell, his stepfather was turned away from Beaumont Hospital in Grosse Pointe, Michigan; Detroit Receiving Hospital; and Detroit’s Henry Ford Hospital.

The day before Fowler died, his father David died, the site reports, and his wife also had symptoms which reportedly landed her in the hospital. CBS News continues…

“They put her on the ventilator. I’m just thinking like, man, this is it. I’m about to lose my mom too,” Gambrell said. Gambrell was concerned other family members could be next, so he called his cousin, State Representative Karen Whitsett for help. Whitsett, who visited the White House last week to speak about surviving coronavirus, made sure her family was tested. Asked if she thinks her family would have been tested if she were not a state lawmaker, Whitsett said, “Absolutely not.” “And that sickens me to have to use that title to be able to have to get my family tested,” she said. Gambrell and his brothers Troy and Ross all tested positive, he said.

According to the report, a Michigan task force has been created to investigate racial disparities in the pandemic. It will reportedly address possible medical bias when it comes to who is tested and how treatment is administered. May Gary Fowler rest in peace.