Bennie Pete endured heartbreaking last days before dying at the age of 45.
For years, Pete suffered from medical issues which affected his day-to-day life and work as a musician. But this week, his body lost its tough battle against several health complications.
Nola.com reported that Pete died on Monday at New Orleans East Hospital weeks after painting at home on August 18. The musician reportedly tested positive for COVID-19 at the hospital, with his wife Lameka and their two children also contracted the disease.
According to his wife, Pete was unwilling to get the COVID-19 vaccine as he was afraid it might affect his underlying health conditions.
For what it's worth, he was diagnosed with sarcoidosis in 2015 before undergoing surgery for advanced prostate cancer in 2018. Per the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, sarcoidosis develops when groups of cells in a patient's immune system form lumps in several organs in the body. These can lead to infections.
When Pete was already willing to get COVID-19, he tested positive for the virus, which worsened his symptoms.
RIP, Bennie Pete
Following his death, his fans and friends paid tribute to the late musician who affected their lives.
TV and radio broadcaster LBJ said, "We have lost a giant! Figuratively, musically, and via his large giving heart. Godspeed Bennie Pete of the Hot 8 Brass Band. Y'all moved the music and the culture forward."
"New Orleans has lost an icon in the midst of our storm. A musical leader who embraced the historic tradition of our culture while leading a new generation in the New Orleans brass band legacy," Wendell Pierce penned.
Even before he contracted the dreaded virus, Pete's sarcoidosis already crippled his life and career. Because of his health condition, he failed to perform with the band on a regular basis.
His wife noted that, in the past years, the musician suffered from massive weight loss and even faced seizures and heart problems. The disease also "ate away his main organs."