‘A fighter to the end’ Dawson County man dies after 8-month battle with COVID-19

Published: Mar. 18, 2022 at 8:27 PM EDT
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DAWSONVILLE, Ga. (CBS46) - A Dawson County community is mourning the loss of Rodney Castleberry, 46, of Dawsonville who died after an 8-month battle with COVID-19.

Kevin Woody, a friend of Castleberry, said his wife was able to say a few parting words before Rodney passed away at Emory University Hospital on Thursday evening.

“I’ve spoken with Jessica, and the kids, and as to be expected they’re having a hard time with this,” said Woody, in an interview with CBS46 on Friday.

Dawson County man dies after 8-month battle with COVID-19
Dawson County man dies after 8-month battle with COVID-19(CBS46 News)

Castleberry contracted COVID-19 in July 2021, a week before he was scheduled to get his first vaccination shot. In August, he was placed on ECMO life support. Woody said he was gaining his strength and undergoing physical therapy until his final weeks.

“It’s been a long journey, it’s been 8 months of fighting,” Woody said.

“But Rodney from day one has fought this battle up to his last minutes, last night, he gave it everything he had and he was a fighter to the end.”

Woody and others held a prayer vigil outside of the hospital on Wednesday evening.

Woody said Castleberry was an avid fisherman, a guitar player, and a songwriter, and was devout in his faith. Castleberry leaves behind his wife, Jessica, and two daughters.

A community of roughly 3,000 people has been rallying for Rodney online and throughout Dawson and Forsyth Counties.

If you’d like to support the family, donations are being accepted at the United Community Bank in Dawsonville.