1:22 PM PDT, September 22, 2021
Just 20 minutes before his first grandchild was born, Shane O’Neal died from COVID-19.
O’Neal passed around 3:30 a.m. on Sept. 3 and his daughter, Kylie Dean, gave birth to her son, Preston, at 3:49 a.m. that same morning, according to USA Today.
The new mom-to-be was notified of her father’s condition while she was in labor.
“I broke down and was literally sobbing,” Dean said to the outlet.
“And my family and friends are standing at my window, watching me just literally break.”
The daughter shared with First Coast News that O’Neal tested positive for COVID-19 last month, right after he had planned to get vaccinated.
Unfortunately despite his lack of underlying conditions, the 40-year-old ended up hospitalized and intubated. Prior to his passing, Dean’s loved ones and Baptist Health searched for an available ECMO machine, which mimics heart and lung function.
Unable to comment on O’Neal’s case specifically, Baptist released the following statement:
“Throughout the country and in our area, a very limited number of hospitals have ECMO machines. If an adult patient requires ECMO, Baptist Health will transfer the patient to the closest accepting hospital, provided they have capacity and feel the patient would be a good candidate for the treatment. If a local hospital does not accept the patient for treatment, we continue to search other hospitals outside the state of Florida.”
“To know him is simply to love him,” Kylie said.
“He’s a people person … He’s just a good, home-grown man.”