Family, friends honor Charleston EMT who died following battle with COVID-19

Updated: Sep. 6, 2020 at 11:24 AM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) -Family, friends and coworkers are mourning the loss of a Charleston-area EMT who died this week due to COVID-19 complications.

Keith Brown was 48 when he passed away Wednesday morning.

He worked for 17 years in EMS for many local agencies, most recently for MedTrust medical transport.

“The way he treated patients with compassion, care and love and laughter,” coworker and longtime friend Tim Pitko said. “It just showed throughout the time we worked.”

His wife Petrice Brown, a nurse herself, said he enthusiastically cared for everyone he could up until the second he got sick.

“Keith is the life of the party. He just loved his family and wanted everyone taken care of before taking care of himself,” Brown said. “It was devastating and it just happened so fast after the positive result.”

She also said the family believes he was exposed at work.

“So it was work-related, Brown said. “He said he probably knows the patient.”

MedTrust’s CEO, Josh Watts said they have transported around 1,800 presumed and positive COVID-19 patients during the pandemic.

Brown is the first employee to die from the virus, but not the first EMT in the state.

“It’s actually only the third fatality since COVID started in the ranks, if you will,” Watts said. “One in the upstate, one in the midlands and now Keith Brown here in the Lowcountry.”

Brown’s coworkers described him as an uplifting force in the Lowcountry’s EMS community, one that is already missed.

" We will definitely miss him around here and we will honor him in all the best ways we can,” friend Shawn Simmons said.

Brown’s son and daughter said they want to honor their father’s legacy, one by going into the medical field as a pharmacist, and the other playing college baseball.

“I want my dad to know that I love him so much,” daughter Peyton Brown said. “I’m going to make him proud. I’m going to get my white coat.”

MedTrust will transport Brown for a family viewing at Calvary Episcopal Church on Sunday. Then, they will hold an EMS procession from Murrays Mortuary to the Alfred Williams Community Center on Monday.

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