Harrowing picture shows veteran, 54, with COVID before his death in Minnesota hospital

A veteran pictured struggling to breathe with COVID-19 has died in a Minnesota hospital, his family have announced. 

The harrowing image of Michael Wright taken at the end of last month showed him on his stomach in the prone position to try and improve his lung capacity. 

His condition had been described as ‘improving’ when it was published by The Star Tribune on November 22.  

But in a GoFundMe page set up to help his family it was announced that Wright had later died from the virus on December 8. 

Michael Wright has died in a Minnesota hospital his family announced. This harrowing image of Wright taken at the end of last month showed him on his stomach in the prone position to try and improve his lung capacity

Michael Wright has died in a Minnesota hospital his family announced. This harrowing image of Wright taken at the end of last month showed him on his stomach in the prone position to try and improve his lung capacity

Michael Wright has died in a Minnesota hospital his family announced. This harrowing image of Wright taken at the end of last month showed him on his stomach in the prone position to try and improve his lung capacity

In a GoFundMe page set up to help his family it was announced that Wright had later died from the virus on December 8. He is pictured with his wife Lynn

In a GoFundMe page set up to help his family it was announced that Wright had later died from the virus on December 8. He is pictured with his wife Lynn

In a GoFundMe page set up to help his family it was announced that Wright had later died from the virus on December 8. He is pictured with his wife Lynn 

Wright had been admitted to the Regions Hospital in St. Paul on November 10, his stepdaughter Miranda Carlson said. 

She wrote: ‘He has a history of chronic bronchitis, which of course made him high risk. He had developed pneumonia and eventually his organs began to fail. 

‘On December 8th, 2020 – the Lord carried Michael home to heaven. Thankfully, my mom was able to be by his side while the Lord took him home to heaven.’

Wright was described by Carlson as a ‘veteran, husband, son, father, bonus father, and grandfather’.

Wright was described by Carlson as a 'veteran, husband, son, father, bonus father, and grandfather'. He is pictured with his wife

Wright was described by Carlson as a 'veteran, husband, son, father, bonus father, and grandfather'. He is pictured with his wife

'This pain is unlike anything my mom has ever felt', his stepdaughter said

'This pain is unlike anything my mom has ever felt', his stepdaughter said

Wright was described by Carlson as a ‘veteran, husband, son, father, bonus father, and grandfather’. He is pictured with his wife 

She added: ‘This pain is unlike anything my mom has ever felt. 

‘On top of grieving a pain so incredibly raw, she faces worries about the expenses that she will now face on her own. Michael was only 54 and my mom only 48, they never planned for this, they planned a long & beautiful life together.’

Sharing the image CNN’s Jake Tapper said: ‘One of the difficulties in conveying how horrible this pandemic is continues to be the inability to consistently do so visually.’

The photographer who took the image, Leila Navidi, tweeted: ‘For those who remember my photo of Michael Wright struggling to breathe in the ICU last month, an update: He tragically lost his battle with COVID earlier this week. 

‘I hope that Michael’s photo saved lives.’

Minnesota health officials on Saturday reported 67 additional COVID-19 deaths and more than 4,400 coronavirus cases.   

There were 1,354 new cases per 100,000 people in Minnesota over the past two weeks, which ranks second in the country for new cases per capita, according to Johns Hopkins University researchers. One in every 175 people in Minnesota tested positive in the past week, according to The COVID Tracking Project.

Residents of long-term care and assisted-living facilities accounted for 37 of the newly announced deaths, and 2,856 deaths since the start of the pandemic.

Since the virus started infecting Minnesota residents in March, the state has reported 375,398 positive cases, 19,428 hospitalizations and 4,359 deaths.

That death count is the 21st highest in the country overall and the 27th highest per capita at 79 deaths per 100,000 people, according to The COVID Tracking Project.

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