Jay Weaver, bass guitarist and vocalist for the Christian music group Big Daddy Weave, died Sunday, Jan. 2, from complications due to COVID-19, CBN News reports.
The band posted a message on social media on New Year's Day saying that Weaver had been in the hospital for five days struggling with COVID, and to pray for him and his wife, Emily, and their three children. Emily Weaver added to the statement in hopes of her husband's healing: "I am asking for you all to pray for Jay. He has been in the hospital since Tuesday. He is fighting so hard. I can see it on him as I look through the window of his door. Yes, he has the awful virus. I just want my best friend/everything to get better."
Tragically, Jay Weaver died a day later.
Mike Weaver, Jay's brother, in a video statement Sunday, thanked fans for their prayers and proclaimed that his brother had gone "to be with Jesus."
"You have walked with him through a huge fight. My brother, Jay, went to be with Jesus just a couple hours ago," he said. "Even though COVID may have taken his last breath, Jesus was right there to catch him."
While Mike Weaver said his "heart's broke" for his family, he expressed joy that his brother is with the Lord.
Weaver had been a member of Big Daddy Weave since 1998. He, his brother Mike, Brian Beihlin and Jeremy Redmon formed the band while they were students at the University of Mobile in Mobile, Alabama.
Jay Weaver had dealt with other health issues, including unstable blood pressure and the danger of infection, in recent months as a result of dialysis therapy. Both of his feet were amputated in 2016, and he had been confined to a wheelchair since.
Many paid tribute to the Christian artist through social media, including the official account for the Dove Awards:
Our hearts go out to our friends in @bdwmusic. Jay Weaver, bass player for Big Daddy Weave, passed away earlier tonight.— The Dove Awards (@GMADoveAwards) January 3, 2022
We pray for comfort for his family, but we rejoice in knowing he is whole again, with his Heavenly Father.
(: Jay at the 47th Annual #DoveAwards in 2016) pic.twitter.com/1pWPDdQuPj
Rod Riley, president and CEO of Word Entertainment, said in a statement: "In 2016 when Jay Weaver had to be rushed into hospital, where he had both feet amputated as part of efforts to fight a deep infection in his body. Considering the recent health-related events that Jay Weaver and his family have gone through, and seeing how Christian Radio and fans have, and continue to respond, it is clear that Big Daddy Weave has set the bar very high when it comes to contributing to the music and ministry of Christian Radio. I could not be more proud to get to work in support of the music and ministry of Big Daddy Weave and see how God continues to use them to impact culture."
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