Home / US / A California family has lost a father to coronavirus and 28 family members have been infected, the son says

A California family has lost a father to coronavirus and 28 family members have been infected, the son says

About two weeks later, his father Vidal Garay died of Covid-19. At least 28 family members have tested positive since then, Garay said. The family is fighting grief while fighting a virus that has killed more than 125,000 people nationwide.

Garay, 27, told CNN he wanted to share his family’s story so people know the virus is real and doesn’t take much to catch it.

Family members who tested positive included his parents, a 2-year-old and two other young children, two brothers and a pregnant sister-in-law, he said. A handful of family members are also fighting Covid-19.

His 60-year-old father died one day before Father’s Day.

“Hopefully his death can help save people,”

; said the younger Garay. “I don’t want him to be a statistic. If his story can save a life, it’s worth telling his story. It’s real. It doesn’t take long for it to be revealed.”

His last words to his father

When the father and son became infected with the virus, they decided to quarantine them together at home in South-Central Los Angeles to avoid spreading it to other family members.

Richard Garay, third from right, with members of his family.

“We laughed at the beginning because we went through it together,” said the son.

Then it went downhill. They started with a fever that got worse and worse, with both breathing and eating problems, Garay said. His father had a rare form of anemia unrelated to the virus and had trouble taking his medication.

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“He was having trouble drinking his medication at all. He couldn’t eat. We had no appetite,” said Garay. “I would force myself to try eating spoons of soup and force my father to eat it too.”

During their quarantine together, they discussed dying and what their funerals should look like, Garay said.

The son’s condition deteriorates

The younger Garay 911 called a few days after being quarantined after waking up and gasping for breath. Before the paramedics took him to the hospital, his father sat up and asked if he was okay, he said.

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“Dad, I don’t think I’ll make it,” Garay said to him. That was his last words to his father.

Days later, his father was taken to a hospital in Los Angeles County, where he deteriorated and had to be connected to a ventilator. In the meantime, his son was in a separate hospital, fighting for his life and oxygen most of the time – but not for a ventilator.

His father died on June 20. On the day of his death, his mother visited the hospital and saw him through a window, Garay said.

Garay doesn’t know how the family members got Coronavirus – there was no party and no big gathering. They believe that a person has been infected and spread through minimal contact between different family members.

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