At just 18 years old, John FitzGerald signed up to serve his country in World War II, survived being a prisoner of war after his plane was shot down over Germany in 1944, and went on to serve 40 years with the military. But at 96, the coronavirus was a foe he couldn’t beat.
He died May 10, after a 10-day stay in isolation at Riddle Hospital in Delaware County.
“They’d call us every day to give us an update, but he just got progressively worse,” his son-in-law Patrick Thompson recalled. The family knew their patriarch wasn’t invincible, “but we didn’t think it was going to be a virus.”
Months later, as the family was still grappling with a loss they hadn’t expected, they got another surprise: an explanation of benefits from FitzGerald’s health insurer that showed the hospital had