WIGGINS, Miss. (WLOX) - The mayor of a South Mississippi city has died after being hospitalized due to double pneumonia just weeks after being diagnosed with COVID-19.
Wiggins Mayor Joel Miles died Sunday at Memorial Hospital in Gulfport after developing complications from the virus.
The city posted Sunday night on Facebook announcing Miles’ death.
Miles, who was elected as mayor of Wiggins in 2013, had been hospitalized at George Regional Hospital in Lucedale but was transferred to Memorial Hospital on Friday in the hopes that he could get more specialized care.
He told WLOX on Dec. 1 that he had been hospitalized with double pneumonia.
Just last month, Miles talked to WLOX about being part of a monoclonal antibody therapy program, saying he highly recommended the treatment and that it helped him enjoy his first fever-free day after weeks of being sick.
“It did save me from being hospitalized,” Miles said in the Nov. 24 interview.
Miles warned others at the time about the virus, saying it’s an illness that should not be taken lightly.
“If anybody tries to tell you [COVID-19] is nothing serious, do not listen. It is very serious,” he implored. “I have had an awful time with it, to be quite honest.”
In a public post Saturday on the joint Facebook page belonging to Miles and his wife Mary, she also pleaded with people to take the virus seriously.
“Joel was adamant about wearing his mask,” reads the post. “He felt he needed to do everything he could to protect people... As he was trying to protect others, not everyone did their part to protect him.”
Miles family said they are very appreciative of the staffs at both George Regional Hospital and Memorial Hospital for their efforts and care.