Naples doctor, advocate for gay community, dies of COVID-19

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NAPLES

A community mourns a healthcare worker who has dedicated his life to helping others.

Dr Clinton Potter recently passed away from COVID-19 after previously battling cancer and becoming cancer free. He has spent his life serving his community, helping people living with HIV / AIDS and being a prominent figure in Naples pride events.

The pain of her death is felt by many, including the LGBTQ community. In the 1980s, Potter battled the AIDS epidemic in San Francisco. When he moved to Naples, he helped build the Naples Pride.

Potter made a difference as a doctor, as a proud member of the gay community, and as a friend.

“I kind of thought we would grow old together,” said Laurie Martell, practice manager for Advanced Individualized Medicine.

With Potter, an old doctor, and Martell, an old intensive care nurse, Martell thought that she and Potter would be spending their last years on a beach somewhere.

The pandemic and COVID-19 were not part of the plan.

“I didn’t expect my friend to be dead,” Martell said. “He’s survived so much. I mean, we thought it was a cat with 10 lives, and it shot him in seven days, and that’s just not good.

Potter has twice beaten cancer and was vaccinated against COVID-19 – two injections.

“You don’t expect your doctors to fall,” Martell said. “This stuff knocks them down just to do their job. They just do their job.

Potter’s death leaves a void in the gay community.

“Dr. Potter was a great supporter of Naples Pride,” said Corey Huffman, Naples Pride board member.

Huffman told us he joined Naples Pride in large part because of Potter’s passion.

“Dr. Potter is now the closest person I’ve had a relationship with who contracted the virus and died from it,” Huffman said. “So that kind of hit me.”

Potter staff told us that they are doing everything they can to keep the doors open and maintain a stigma-free health space because that’s what Dr. Clinton Potter would have wanted.

“You just have to get the vaccine. I mean, he’s not the only doctor in the hospital, ”Huffman said. “He’s not the only doctor in this county to be intubated right now. He’s not the only professional who has fallen, and they’re going to keep losing us, so what’s going to happen?

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