Chad Dorrill, a 19-year-old sophomore at Appalachian State University, died Monday night of COVID-19 complications.
“As our family suffers this incredible loss, we want to remind people to wear a mask and quarantine if you test positive even without symptoms,” Dorrill’s family said in a statement Tuesday. “You have no idea who you can come in contact with that the virus affects differently. Chad was just incredibly tired for two weeks and little did we know it was secretly attacking his body in a way they have never seen before. The doctors said that Chad is the rarest 1-10,000,000 case but if it can happen to a super healthy 19-year-old boy who doesn’t smoke, vape, or do drugs, it can happen to anyone.”
Dorrill was a basketball player and Exercise Science major.
ASU had issued no official statement on his death as of Tuesday afternoon.
Davidson County Schools Superintendent Emily Lipe and the Piedmont Pacers basketball team both issued statement about Dorrill, who was a graduate of Ledford High School in Thomasville.
““His quiet, soft-spoken demeanor belied a fierce competitor on the basketball court whose relentless hustle and shooting prowess helped win many games for the Pacers,” the Piedmont Pacers team said in a statement posted to Facebook. “Chad finished as the Pacers’ all-time leading scorer and was a member of the 2018 USSSA National Championship team.”
“Chad Dorrill was a loved and well-respected member of the Ledford community and the Class of 2019,” Lipe said in her statement. “He was an All-Conference basketball player during his years at LHS, who was both competitive and kind. He was enrolled at Appalachian State University in hopes of becoming a physical therapist. Our deepest and most heartfelt sympathy is extended to Chad’s family, friends, and the entire Ledford community.”
Appalachian State has recorded 167 new COVID-19 cases over the last week, all among students.
On Tuesday alone the school reported 46 cases.
Late Tuesday UNC System President Peter Hans issued a statement on Dorrill’s death.
“Any loss of life is a tragedy, but the grief cuts especially deep as we mourn a young man who had so much life ahead,” Hans said in the written statement. “I ache for the profound sadness that Chad Dorrill’s family is enduring right now. My heart goes out to the entire Appalachian State community.”
“Our country is grappling with this continuing crisis on a scale that is difficult to comprehend,” Hans said in the statement. “That does not diminish the acute pain we feel alongside Chad’s parents, family, and friends, the people whose loss is personal and irreplaceable.”
“Chad’s family asked that this moment stand as a stark reminder of how Covid-19 is deadly serious for all of us, even for otherwise healthy young adults.,” Hans said. “We have a heightened duty to one another in these extraordinarily trying times, and we all need to remain vigilant. I join his family and Chancellor Everts in urging everyone to follow public health guidance by wearing a mask, washing hands, maintaining physical distance, and limiting gatherings.”