FAIRBURN, Ga. - Fairburn Police Officer Marquise Grant passed away last Friday, two months after being diagnosed with COVID-19.
His mother, Linda Grant, said her son was born to serve and protect.
"When his father would come home, he would take off his uniform, and my son at the age of two would pick up his uniform and put his shirt on and his hat on his head," Grant said.
She said all her son wanted to do was become like his father, who was an officer.
(The Grant Family )
So Grant said it's no surprise her son grew up and followed in his footsteps.
"He started a variety of programs to help bridge the gap between police officers and the community. He worked with the businesses. So he did a lot at such a young age. He's 35," she said.
During his 17 years in law enforcement, he worked for the GBI, Union City Police Department, and most recently the Fairburn Police Department.
About two months ago he was diagnosed with COVID-19 and was admitted into the hospital.
"He was trying to protect someone and he ended up contracting COVID-19 in the process of helping that person," Grant said.
Grant said her son was in the hospital for two months.
"He would blow me kisses, lifting his arm. His eyes were open. He was communicating with us, of course by body language. He had so many machines and tubes. He almost appeared to be half-human. But even with all that excruciating pain, he kept saying ‘I will not give up,’" Grant said.
According to the non-profit called Officer Down Memorial Page, he's one of at least 30 members of law enforcement in Georgia who've lost their lives to COVID-19 this year.
This makes up 81 percent of total deaths so far this year.
The organization reports at least an additional 14 died in 2020.
Nationwide, COVID-19 makes up about 65 percent of total deaths among law enforcement.
Grant said she was prepared for what could come as a mother of someone in law enforcement, but she never thought coronavirus would be the thing that took her son's life.
"God used me as a vessel to bring him into this world. I knew one day he would have to go back. I just didn't know it was going to be this soon," she said. "He did live his life the way he saw fit. He definitely lived his destiny to serve and protect.``
Grant said her son was not only a dedicated officer but a dedicated father as well.
He leaves behind two children and has a child on the way.
Grant said her son's law enforcement family, especially the Union City Police Department, has been so supportive during this time.
The Grant family has organized a memorial fund, to donate click here.