ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) -- A popular Georgia doctor is among the deaths across the state related to COVID-19.

Dr. John D. Marshall Jr., is also one of the state's first physicians to pass due to the coronavirus. Still, Marshall is now among the hundreds of healthcare workers who experienced a similar fate, it’s a grim reminder that no one is safe from the virus.

“Simply put, doc was great man,” said Rev. Mathis Wright, current president the Americus chapter of NAACP. Dr. Marshal, who was the former president of the same chapter, worked alongside Wright for more than a decade. The two became great friends and spoke almost every day.

“He told me about a week into it, he said, 'I’m going to have to go over to Columbus and I’m going to get the test.' But he said 'based on what I’m feeling I know my test will be positive because my upper back and lower back have never hurt so bad,'” said Wright.

Marshall was right. He tested positive for the cornonavirus after being exposed to it through interactions with one of his patients who had the virus. But Marshal didn’t just examine the person, he also helped him get to his car because he was weak and struggling to walk.

“Even if he had known in advance that they had it, it wouldn’t have stopped him from doing what he did. They still would have seen him, he still would have did everything that he could. Marshall’s death highlights the danger those in the medical profession face at they battle COVID19,” said Wright.

The Air Force veteran is just one of about 100,000 US healthcare workers who contracted the virus. However, Marshall is the second death due to the virus in Georgia.

CBS46 reached out to the Department of Health and Emory for comment, but neither were available for comment at the time of this report.

As for Marshall, he was still giving medical advice even while he was ill.

“Wearing of the mask is very important and that’s one of the last things he said to me, he says when you go out you make sure you don’t take any unnecessary chances,” added Wright.

Copyright 2020 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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