The vice president of a Long Island school district's board of education has died from the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) at the age of 49.
Christopher Madden, the vice president of the Copiague Board of Education - who was suffering from no underlying illness - was pronounced dead early on Friday, April 3 after contracting the virus.
Madden has been on the school board since 2017, and was also a member of the Copiague Chamber of Commerce, Kiwanis Club of Copiague, created the Copiague neighborhood watch group and was vice president of the hamlet’s youth league. He was also involved with the American Venice Civic Association.
Madden was taken to the hospital and placed in Urgent Care on Tuesday, March 10 when he was coughing and had a fever, his wife said. He was tested for the flu, told it was not COVID-19, and released, according to his wife.
The following week on Monday, March 16, she said he returned to the hospital and was told he had a double ear infection. She said he was sent home with antibiotics and an inhaler.
Three days later, on Thursday, March 19, Madden returned to Urgent Care, his wife said, because he was not improving and his oxygen level was low. He tested positive for COVID-19 on Sunday, March 22.
"I appreciate the love and support from my family and friends for the overwhelming texts and calls, numerous times a day since I have been in the hospital,” Madden said. “Truly means a lot that I matter to so many people. I hope every one of you knows that I love all of you and the way you all showed the way you love me. As my reverend said, 'God will get me through this.'"
"I am so sorry to let you all know Chris Madden lost his battle with COVID-19 this morning!," the Chamber of Commerce Posted on Facebook. "We send our Sympathy & prayers to his wife Jennifer and his Family.
"Chris was a great asset to our Copiague community. Involved in many organizations to help to better Copiague. He was on the Copiague School Board, Copiague Chamber of Commerce, Copiague Kiwanis, Neighborhood Watch, Copiague Youth League, Venice Community. He worked very hard for the Copiague Community! He will be missed by all!"
“The Copiague Public Schools mourns the untimely passing of Board of Education Vice President Christopher Madden,” the school district wrote in a statement. “Mr. Madden was a staunch supporter and tireless advocate of our students, staff, and community and he will be deeply missed. We will remember him for his commitment and dedication to the Copiague community and his altruistic spirit.
“We extend our sincere thoughts and deepest condolences to his family and friends during this difficult time.”
Memorial arrangements have not yet been announced by the Madden family.
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.