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Pistons-Jazz cameraman in coma after coronavirus diagnosis

Rod Beard
The Detroit News

Detroit — A local freelance cameraman who worked the last Pistons home game on March 7 has tested positive for COVID-19 and is in a coma at a local hospital.

The man, in his 50s, is in a medically-induced coma in an attempt to stabilize his condition, Yahoo Sports’ Dan Wetzel and Vincent Goodwill reported Wednesday.

A local cameraman contracted COVID-19 after working the Pistons-Jazz game on March 7.

The Pistons’ last home game before the NBA season was suspended on March 11 was against the Utah Jazz and included the first two NBA players, Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell, to test positive for coronavirus. It’s not clear whether they were the first NBA players to contract the virus. 

The Pistons’ Christian Wood also tested positive a few days later. In all, 10 NBA players are known to have tested positive since the initial positive results.

The cameraman, who has worked Pistons games for a number of years, had gathered footage of the Jazz throughout the game and in the postgame locker room, as well.

Mike Abdella, a fellow freelance worker, set up a GoFundMe account to help raise funds for the cameraman.

“I am setting up a relief fund to help him with any lingering bills that will come from this possible deadly virus, in this unprecedented time,” Abdella wrote.

The impromptu fundraiser reached the initial goal within two hours.

“We’re a family. It makes me emotional,” Abdella told The Detroit News. “The happiest times of our lives are together in that production truck. That’s where I’m happiest, working with them.”

Twitter: @detnewsRodBeard