Family speaks out after long-time King Soopers employee dies with COVID-19

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DENVER (KDVR) — Seventy King Soopers and Kroger employees—in Colorado—have tested positive for COVID-19, according to a union rep with United Food and Commercial Workers #7.

So far, three of them have passed away.

Seventy-five-year-old James McKay worked at the Capitol Hill King Soopers, at 1155 E. 9th Ave., in Denver.

McKay’s family says he passed away on May 21 after a 41-day hospital stay at The Medical Center of Aurora. 

From cashier to courtesy clerk for more than a decade, the passing of the long-time King Soopers employee leaves a community hurting. 

“They said it on the overhead speaker on King Soopers and there wasn’t a dry eye in the place including the customers,” McKay’s daughter Cheri said. 

For McKay’s children, hurt also comes with concern and disbelief.

“I really believe he really could have made it if they at least treated him for pneumonia or ventilated him,” Cheri said, adding “my dad survived from April 10th through Thursday.”

On May 21, McKay’s battle ended. Cheri said not being allowed to visit and see her father was unfathomable, but the worst part was what happened over the phone.

“I requested multiple times that he be put on a ventilator and then when they say ‘because of his age and COPD they would’t put him on a ventilator,’” Cheri said, adding “They are just going to make him comfortable is what they told me.” 

Problem Solvers took these claims and concerns to The Medical Center of Aurora. They responded with the following statement:

“We offer our deepest sympathy to the patient and his family. As the most experienced hospital in the state of Colorado handling COVID-19, we continue to have ample resources to care for each of our patient’s needs, work tirelessly to save as many lives as possible and provide exceptional, compassionate care to the patients we serve. Given patient privacy laws, we are unable to comment on the specifics surrounding this patient, but it is important to note that many factors contribute to the treatment plans for each COVID-19 patient. We are honored to provide care to patients in our community and the surrounding region.”

A GoFundMe account has been established for McKay’s family.

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