“We Are Not Convinced Our Brother Died From COVID-19”

Rev. George K. Grupee, spokesperson of the deceased's family

Family members claim in Nimba controversial COVID-19 case

Relatives of the late Don.K. Patrick, who reportedly died recently from the Coronavirus have disclosed that they are “not convinced” that their brother died of COVID – 19 as claimed by the Government of Liberia.

Speaking to the Daily Observer via mobile phone, the spokesperson for the family, Rev. George K Grupee joined by his friend Diggs Tower said their brother did not show any sign of Coronavirus prior to his death.

He said the late Don Patrick, who is also known in Nimba as Darlington Gweh, arrived in Liberia on February 28, 2020, at about 8:45pm local time and spent over a month in Monrovia before leaving for Nimba.

Rev. Grupee said the late Patrick and his fiancee had come from the USA to perform their traditional wedding, and while awaiting the arrival of their materials for the attire from oversea, they decided to go to the home town of the fiancee’s mother to spend time where he stayed and became ill.

“They left Monrovia on Tuesday, March 31 2020 for Nimba, and on Thursday, April 2, 2020, Mr. Patrick got sick suddenly upon arrival in the village, and within the course of two hours he died,” said Grupee.

“Coronavirus, as we all know, does not kill people instantly like how my brother died,” he added.

Rev. Grupee explained that the deceased temperature turn from normal to   hot and was shivering with cold but without coughing or sneezing, and he became very helpless.

According to the family spokesperson, Patrick was rushed to the Jackson Fiah Doe Referral Hospital in Tappita, where he was pronounced dead upon arrival by a physician.
Grupee said the corpse began decomposing right away when Patrick gave up the ghost, with fluid running from his nose and mouth.

“When the nurses noticed that his body was body decaying, the embalmer suggested that the body be injected the so as to stop it from decaying completely,” he said.

Grupee said after the body was injected, the hospital gave them a ‘consent form’ so as to allow them to conduct an autopsy, but to their almost surprise the medical staff at JFD decided to take specimen while the form was still in the family possession.

“The next morning they told us that the result of the testing will be available on Monday, April 6, 2020,” Rev. Grupee said.

“On that Monday, the doctor called and told me that the result was confusing, it was neither negative nor positive, so they wanted to do another test,” he explained.

According to Rev. Grupee, during the evening hours, the doctor called again and told him that the result was negative and therefore the family should go-ahead to prepare for burial.

“But, while we were getting ready to arrange for funeral, the doctor called again and told us the result was positive,” he said.

Rev. Grupee says the body is yet to be buried and still in the hand of the government waiting for another specimen to be taken for testing before they can take delivery of it.

“Don’s death is suspicious; we don’t believe it is Coronavirus,” the family contends.

There is still confusion in Nimba over the death of this man which adds Nimba three other counties to be locked down for 14 days.

In consonance with family suspicion, a health practitioner in Nimba who wants to remain anonymous said poison-related death always shows virus sign.
According to him, when someone is poisoned, the internal organs are attacked and the corpse will appear like the person died from a virus.

The late Don K. Patrick was 42 yeara old and a resident of Minnesota in the USA. He is survived by his fiancee and five children.

He is a US citizen; status is compelling the family to call on the US State Department to step in and conduct an investigation into what really killed their brother.

However, many people who came in close contact with the deceased have been placed under quarantine, while the location of others remains unknown.
The County Healthy Team headed by Dr. Philip Sahr has outlined some challenges hindering the fight of COVID – 19.

Some of the challenges include the lock of testing center or testing facility, lock of holding site, and the lack of ambulance in the county.
Meanwhile, COVID -19 prevention awareness is been preached on local radio stations across the Nimba in all dialects.


  1. As an avid reader of Daily Observer, it is disheartening to note that its quality of journalism has diminished greatly from it’s good old days. While is there no mention of attempts to contact and report the hospital and/or Ministry of Health side of the story? Why did the journalist not follow up and report on whether or not a funeral director or representative did inject the body prior to testing being done? Is this routine ? Was an autopsy done? As a US citizen, could the journalist attempt to reach the US embassy? The are basic elements of reporting that I find missing in this and many other stories. Please do a little bit of due diligence as such incomplete reporting like this only add to misinformation and distrust of the effort by the the health authorities.

    • Arthur, you articulate what I have observed as the sort of shallowness that the Observer has been releasing to its readership over the past several years. It boggles the mind why a story that raises more qustions than answers does not provoke indepth investigative pursuit. Without malice (I hate to say: ‘with all due respect’ – so condescending!) this is a rough and crude hachet job that demands a do-over. You are a great institution that has a long track record of solid reporting. Keep up your game, please, Liberian Observer.

  2. Sounds a like an acute meningitis to me! Take it from someone who knows. It kills faster than a poison or COVID-19. Those who came in contact with him should be observed for midgrade fever, chills, severe headache accompanied by stiffness of the neck, and occasional vomiting. You could have a potential outbreak of meningitis within that region. Now you know!

  3. The death of Don Patrick, aka Darlington Gweh is very, very sad. Don Patrick could have tied the knot in the US, but because of the young man’s love for his beloved country, he went home with his alta ego in order to tie the knot there. Unfortunately, things didn’t work out as the couple had hoped. May his soul rest in perfect peace. May his family and the woman whom he hoped to have married, go through this painful loss with the guidance of our creator. Lastly, I hope that the mysterious passing of Don Patrick will not become a political issue. The dumb-dumb (the devil) is a liar. Because of the evil in him, he uses every opportunity he gets to stir things up. The dumb-dumb will fail. Patrick’s family will be fine. God loves.

    As always, peace.

  4. What we are hearing and the family is not saying publicly is, the woman and her children were sent to the US by her ex husband to get settle and he will follow, but she came and got into relationship with the late Don Patrick and even married him. After sometimes, they decided to return to Nimba to do a traditional wedding, but also the ex husband is from the same village. When they arrived in Monrovia, he complained of not feeling well but decoded to travel to Nimba. Few days in Nimba his situation got worse and he died. Now here is the main thing, they are accusing the ex husband of being the one who killed Don Patick through witch craft practise and this is why the family is not accepting the report from the hospital in Tappita. This has brought big conflict between two famillies and it needs government intervention

  5. A promising life was tragically cut short. We mourn with the family in this time of grief.

    Let not speculations abound as to how he died.



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