VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - A well-known business owner in Virginia Beach died after a long battle with COVID-19 complications.
Preston Midgett was a father, a husband and the owner of Jungle Golf at the Oceanfront.
Jungle Golf general manager Rachel Cook says Midgett mentored countless people and changed many lives, including her own.
"Preston is an amazing man. He has done so much good for the city. This is his city; this is where he grew up. This is his home; these are his people," said Cook.
The family fun miniature golf course has been around for 50 years, passed down from one generation to the next, according to Cook.
Cook says Jungle Golf will likely stay in the family and continue to be a place for family fun for many years to come.
"I just saw a text from his son that we’re going to keep going with Jungle Golf. It’s his legacy. It’ll live on," said Cook.
Oceanfront businesses rallied behind the man that meant so much to the community. Nearby businesses like Zero's Subs posted signs encouraging a speedy recovery. Now, those signs of support have changed to condolences as the city begins to cope with the loss.
Preston's wife, Kim Midgett, started posting on the website Caring Bridge on December 9. At that time, she said Preston was in respiratory failure due to COVID-19 pneumonia.
From there, her daily updates showed Preston's lungs were improving before later posting that his oxygen levels were not steady.
Preston then had plasma treatments, and doctors tried other medicines and producers, as detailed in Kim's posts online.
After a long battle with back and forth news on Preston's health, Kim posted on Wednesday that he had passed.
Her post said:
"It is with a heavy heart that I have to advise that Preston finished his long marathon yesterday and now is at peace with our loving God in beautiful heaven. We all prayed for a different outcome, but that was not God's plan. He fought the long fight and it was such a roller coaster. He was so close. He had the very best care teams at all three hospitals and for that we are very grateful.
At the end, he was surrounded by so much love by our family and all his friends! We know he was wrapped in the loving arms of his mom and dad. Also, he was greeted happily by our beloved pup Roxy. I know Josh Thompson was there with surfboards in hand for he and Preston to ride the most perfect waves in heaven.
We feel so blessed that Preston was able to complete his bucket list adventure of the Great Loop boat trip on Pura Vida with Trey and share his escapades daily on Facebook. He had the time of his life!
We want to thank all our prayers warriors for being on the long journey with us. We know this included all our family, extended family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, church prayer groups and people who have never even met Preston from all around the country. All the care, support, love and prayers helped us through this difficult time. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts. May God continue to bless you and your families!"
On Tuesday, Kim and the Midgett family released the following statement:
My family and I would like to express our sincere appreciation for the huge outpouring of love and support throughout Preston’s battle with this horrible disease and for your expressions of condolence following Preston’s death. You came to my rescue when I needed you the last few weeks and I will need you even more as our family tries to come to terms with our loss.
As the family grieves, we take some degree of solace in celebrating his incredible life with all of you and the long and lasting legacy he leaves at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront. Preston was so much more than a loving father and husband; he was a true son of Virginia Beach. He loved this city and its people with all his heart.
For now we ask that our privacy be respected as we grieve during this very difficult time. I hope in the days ahead I will be able to thank each and every one of you for your prayers and your support.
People are sending their love and thoughts in the comments of Kim's post. Click here to read more and to show support.