- Facebook / Parker Jazz Club
After more than a month in the ICU on a ventilator, the renowned trombonist has been moved to a rehab center, according to a GoFundMe account set up to cover his medical expenses.
"He is currently still on the ventilator, but has had made great strides now that he is awake and able to be weaned off," wrote his friend Rebecca Patterson, who organized the account. "He has shown an amazing amount of resilience and determination."
During Wilkins heavily sedated stay in the ICU, he had dialysis, a secondary infection and a tracheotomy, Patterson added. As a kidney transplant recipient, Wilkins was considered a high-risk patient if became infected with the coronavirus.
Wilkins relocated to New York in the early 2010s, but remains a beloved figure in San Antonio music circles. He spent years performing in the Alamo City and teaching at the University of Texas at San Antonio and University of the Incarnate Word. As the pandemic swept New York this spring, he relocated back to his home town to protect his health.
In her GoFundMe post, Patterson said friends are mastering and releasing Wilkins' new album Trombocalist, which was recorded with his New York band. In addition to playing tenor and bass trombone, Wilkins also sings and plays tuba on the recording.
At press time, the GoFundMe account has reached $13,465 of its $50,000 goal.
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