NJ Army National Guardsman becomes 1st American service member death from coronavirus

A New Jersey Army National Guardsman passed away this weekend, becoming the first American service member death from coronavirus, and his daughter says her father was indeed a hero who was taken much too soon.

News 12 Staff

Mar 31, 2020, 2:23 PM

Updated 1,511 days ago

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A New Jersey Army National Guardsman passed away this weekend, becoming the first American service member death from coronavirus, and his daughter says her father was indeed a hero who was taken much too soon, adding he was about to join the fight against this invisible killer.
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Shandrea Hicko, 27, lives with her 24-year-old brother and their mother in Red Bank. News 12 spoke with Shandrea through FaceTime, as she said more about her dad, Capt. Douglas Hickok, a member of the New Jersey National Guard Medical Unit in Sea Girt.
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The 57-year-old is the first military member to lose his life from coronavirus. Shandrea says her family, including her brother, are just devastated.
"He is deeply saddened by this and he's trying really hard to hold the family together and keep moving forward,” says Shandrea.
Shandrea says her father was not a New Jersey native, but was born at Norman Air Force Base in Oklahoma and raised in California.
He graduated from Cornell Medical School with a Physician's Assistant degree.
A third-generation service member, he later moved to Jackson, living there until 2009 when he joined the New Jersey National Guard.
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"He was seeing patients until the end at his work,” says Shandrea. “He also attended military trainings where they were talking about the COVID virus and possibly being prepared to be called to active duty to fight that virus in New Jersey. He was going to report the next day, but ended up in the hospital and this happened very quick. Then he passed away.”
Shandrea says her dad had beaten lung cancer, but was recently told it was in remission.
"Otherwise he was healthy,” says Shandrea. “He had recently passed his military exam that they have to do the fitness test and aren't his advanced cardiac life support certification very recently within the past couple of weeks."
Shandrea still believes the lung issue played a part in her father's death. She says her dad recently moved to Pennsylvania because he wanted to be one with nature.
He passed away at Lehigh Valley Hospital in Pennsylvania.


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