'He was one of us,' WSU president says of worker, student who died of virus
In a somber email Saturday, Wayne State University President Roy Wilson announced that someone in the community had succumbed to COVID-19.
"It is with a heavy heart that I share with you that Darrin Adams, a custodian and member of our Wayne State family, passed away from complications caused by COVID-19," Wilson wrote.
Adams was a custodian at Wayne State who worked at the university for nearly six years, mostly at Manoogian Hall. He was also a student pursuing a degree on sociology.
"He was one of us, and we all grieve his loss," Wilson wrote. "Darrin leaves behind family and friends, and we keep them in our thoughts as they deal with this unexpected loss. We hope that their grief is assuaged by good memories of a life well lived."
Adams is the first person at Wayne State to have died from COVID-19, which has caused a global pandemic, infected more than a million people around the world and claimed thousands of lives. In Michigan, the number of residents who had contracted the virus reached nearly 13,000 cases as of Friday and the death toll was close to 500 people.
Adams' age was not immediately known. He was an African American. Early data released this week has shown that the novel coronavirus has disproportionately claimed the lives blacks — in 40 percent of the cases when African Americans make up only 14 percent of the state's population.
Adams posted a photo of himself on his Facebook page on March 23, with his eyes closed and a facemask off to the side of his face. He wrote: "My current dilemma."
Many people responded, saying they were sending prayers.
"Prayers for complete healing and restoration in the name of JESUS🙏🏽," wrote Danielle LuvsLife Thomas. "Keep fighting!"
On Friday, a few people posted follow up messages after apparently learning he had passed away.
"May God have your spirit in heaven Highland Park homie 💓," wrote Tracey Rolyart.
Donita Harris added: "This is so unbelievable ... Knowing how proud you were to go back to school & come out with the best college degrees will continue to be a motivation to many!! This is so hard to say good bye, but I know I will see you later❣❣🙏🏾🙏🏾Heavenly father, please touch our family& friends with your comfort right now Lord, in Jesus Name I pray🙏🏾🙏🏾"
Benjamin Madigan added, "RIP D,you will truly be missed my friend."
In his letter, Wilson encourage students to stay safe.
"This pandemic has hit Detroit hard, and we have all watched with great concern as the cases in our city have mounted," said Wilson. "Unfortunately, our campus is not immune. We have had a number of cases, and now we mourn the loss of one of our employees."