Man, 34, Dies of COVID 9 Days Before Wedding: 'He Had So Much Life to Live For,' Says Fiancée

"He was always positive no matter what," said Elizabeth Roller, Jeff Lee's fiancée

jeff lee
Photo: gofundme

A reserve police officer from Indiana who had struggled with a rare kidney disease died of COVID-19 complications just days before he was to be married.

According to a GoFundMe campaign, 34-year-old Jeff Lee of Indianapolis died of COVID-19 on Oct. 28. The previous week, he was found unresponsive in his home and was taken to a local hospital, where his loved ones hoped he would make a recovery.

"Yesterday evening, I collapsed and was unresponsive and not breathing," Lee wrote on social media on Oct. 23. "I was rushed to St Francis. On top of this, I was just pronounced COVID-Positive. I am battling deathly low oxygen levels, while still dealing with complications from kidney disease and dialysis and am fighting like hell to avoid being put down and going on a Ventilator...."

"So with that said, PLEASE... if [you] believe in the power of prayer, or positive vibes, I could use them right now," he added. "I have A LOT of things to look forward [to] in life. I'm not going down without a fight. Also pray for my [fiancée] Elizabeth as she is COVID-[positive] as well."

Lee — who was known as "Boost Lee" amongst his friends and other fellow car lovers — was scheduled to marry his fiancée, Elizabeth Roller, on Nov. 6, just nine days after his death.

"I'm just shocked," Roller told the Indianapolis Star. "My entire life is uprooted ... I don't know if I can put it into words. He had so much to live for, and he knew he did."

Lee also struggled with a rare kidney disease called IgA nephropathy, a condition he was diagnosed with in September 2018 and that caused him to be placed on peritoneal dialysis at his home for about 10 hours every day, GoFundMe organizers said.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, people with kidney disease are more likely to get severely ill from COVID-19. It is unclear whether Lee was vaccinated against the disease.

RELATED VIDEO: University of Virginia Disenrolls Hundreds for Violating COVID-19 Vaccine Policy

"Jeff has done his best to stay positive and adjust to life with kidney disease, but numerous medical issues have arisen, ultimately causing him to be on leave from work for extended periods of time," a description on the GoFundMe page reads.

The donation campaign has raised nearly $4,000 as of Tuesday afternoon. The money will help cover Lee's funeral costs, the Indianapolis Star reported.

"He was always positive no matter what," Roller told the Indianapolis Star of Lee. "He'd be dealing with the worst situations and he would find something good about it or something to be positive about."

As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from the CDC, WHO and local public health departments. PEOPLE has partnered with GoFundMe to raise money for the COVID-19 Relief Fund, a fundraiser to support everything from frontline responders to families in need, as well as organizations helping communities. For more information or to donate, click here.

Related Articles