x
Breaking News
More () »

TDCJ correctional officer dies after hard fought battle with coronavirus

"Losing someone you hold dear has no measure. The fact that [he] fought so hard for so long makes that even tougher."

HOUSTON — The Texas Department of Criminal Justice is mourning the death of another employee taken by the coronavirus.

Correctional officer Thomas Adedayo Ogungbire was making progress and had been weaned off oxygen, but he took an unexpected turn for the worse and passed away Thursday evening.

Ogungbire was only 54 years old and had worked with TDCJ for 10 years. His death is currently being investigated.

According to TDCJ officials, Ogungbire called in sick April 14 to the Hutchins State Jail in Dallas and tested positive for COVID-19 the following week. He was hospitalized with symptoms, and eventually, moved to Baylor Hospital in Dallas.

“Officer Ogungbire could not have fought harder and we had prayed that he would win his fight,” TDCJ Executive Director Bryan Collier said. “Losing someone you hold dear has no measure. The fact that Officer Ogungbire fought so hard for so long makes that even tougher. We can only hope that the thoughts and prayers of the TDCJ family are some comfort to his friends and family.”

RELATED: Families of Texas prisoners call for release as COVID-19 affects thousands behind bars

Ogungbire leaves behind his wife, Elizabeth, their two sons, Tunji and Ayo, and the rest of the extended family.

His family said he was a great father, friend, a lover of Christ and a hardworking individual.

At least eight TDCJ employees have died due to the virus. 

In late April, TDCJ reported a Muslim chaplain who worked with the department for more than 40 years and another longtime employee had died to due to COVID-related complications.

And then in May, two more employee deaths linked to COVID-19 were reported. Both had worked with TDCJ for more than a decade.

RELATED: Coronavirus updates: 2 TDCJ officers die from COVID-19

RELATED: Deaths of two longtime TDCJ employees linked to coronavirus

MORE TOP STORIES ON KHOU.COM