Viral star Antoine Dodson mourns recently deceased mother

The viral star is famous for the phrase 'Hide your kids, hide your wife'

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Viral internet sensation Antoine Dodson announced the death of his mother on Sunday, Sept. 12 via social media, asking supporters to help pay for funeral expenses.

The 37-year-old told TMZ his mother, named Jennifer, died at a hospital in Decatur, Alabama on Sunday after battling a string of health issues over many years.

The sudden death came as a surprise to Dodson, who said his mother appeared to be recovering after recently undergoing leg amputation surgery for complications she began having in or around 2010. The operation led to an infection that placed Jennifer in an intensive care unit, where she spent her final months.

While the cause of death remains unconfirmed, Dodson said doctors believe it to be the result of heart failure.

“I never thought this day would come, I thought we would have forever,” Dodson told his nearly 20,000 Instagram followers in a live stream on Sunday.

“Y’all, my mama just died, so unexpectedly,” Dodson said. “I’m just so numb right now.”

Dodson explained to viewers that he is “not in a financial place” to cover the expenses of a funeral ceremony and burial, later telling TMZ that the COVID-19 pandemic and the unexpected nature of his mother’s death put him in a difficult position.

Unsure of what to do, he launched a GoFundMe asking supporters to contribute to the total of approximately $10,200 it would cost to lay his mother to rest. 

“I posted the link on my Instagram page, but this is all so new,” Dodson said during the live stream, adding that he is receiving questions from relatives that he doesn’t know the answer to. 

“They asking questions like, ‘Do you want to have a burial outside or inside?’ I’ve never done this before,” he said.

“If y’all could go to help support and donate, I just need your support,” Dodson said.

As of Saturday afternoon, the online fundraiser has amassed over $11,200 and counting, exceeding the original goal.

Dodson took to Instagram once again on Saturday to thank the 450-plus GoFundMe donors and others who supported him and his family through this trying time in their lives.

“Thank you guys for your love and support, we made our goal for my mom’s funeral on GoFundMe,” Dodson said. “I really appreciate you guys, we still have a little more fees, you can continue to donate if you want to, but for the most part, the funeral is paid for. I appreciate it, I love you, thank you.”

Dodson is known as one of the earliest viral sensations in the modern internet era, becoming an overnight sensation after the NBC affiliate in Huntsville, Alabama interviewed him after helping save his sister Kelly Dodson from an attempted rape.

The phrase “Hide your kids, hide your wife,” said by Dodson during the interview in reference to the predator, quickly circulated digital platforms and placed the Alabama resident in the public eye for years afterward.

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