WACO, Texas — A gathering of close family members came together to honor the life of Phillip Perry, a Waco ISD principal who died last month due to COVID-19.
Perry was hired as the principal at G.W. Carver Middle School in May of 2019. His parents say they want him to be remembered for the relationships he had with the students he led.
"The things he's done at the school with the children and all of this...," Phillip's father, Billie Perry said. Wherever he's gone, the kids love him, and he loved to play with kids and teach kids and do basketball and football and all of this."
Billie said losing a child is one of the hardest things he has dealt with in his life. The uncertainty around the coronavirus had made difficult circumstances even harder.
"You know, after three months, we still don't have any answers," Billie said. "And I understand it's hard to treat because they don't know what it is. And I hope they hurry up and find a cure for it."
Billie said they got to see first-hand how dangerous this virus can be. Phillip's mother said the last time they saw their son, he was not able to breathe, and doctor's had to hook him up to a ventilator. They did not get to be with Phillip during his final moments.
Still, they say they are thankful for the care Phillip received from doctors and nurses fighting on the front lines.
"I think they did everything they could, and I thank them for that," Billie said.
The family loosely practiced social distancing at the graveside funeral. They placed a limit at the grave site itself of 10 people at a time in order to follow the city's social distancing policies. During the service, family members spread out around the cemetery, and some stayed inside their cars.
During this time of trouble for the Perry family, Billie said his faith is the thing that has carried him through.
"God is God, not them. God determines who dies and who lives, and that took the pain away," he said.
They say they hope a cure is found soon.