EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – A Texas family mourns the sudden death of a California family member who has contracted COVID-19 at a California party and now has to wait two weeks to perform funeral services.
51-year-old Tommy Macias attended a party about two weeks ago and showed symptoms a week later.
He posted a passionate message on Facebook, complaining that he had previously ignored the recommendations for social distancing and wearing masks, and expressed guilt for exposing his family.
“Because of my stupidity, I put the health of my mother, sisters and family at risk. It was a very painful experience,” he wrote.
“Hopefully I can survive that with God’s help.”
Macias was dead less than two days later.
Macias’ niece, Danielle Lopez, told KTSM 9 News that her uncle had symptoms last Monday that he thought were diabetes-related, but soon realized the situation was far more serious.
Macias was tested for COVID-19 on Tuesday, which resulted in a positive diagnosis on Thursday.
“Sunday morning he called my grandmother and said he had difficulty breathing, then he called the ambulance and went to the hospital. They started him on oxygen and he was there for a few hours. Then they decided to connect him to a ventilator early in the evening, ”said Lopez.
“He was only on the ventilator for an hour before he died.”
According to the Macias family, at least fourteen other participants have completed COVID-19 with Macias. Lopez says it’s an example of why social distancing and wearing masks are paramount and how it can be fatal if you don’t.
Lopez added: “At this party, one person was infected and was not wearing a mask. If they had worn a mask, it would not have happened. “
The family is lucky that no other family members have symptoms yet, but the family is more aware than ever, Lopez says.
Macias’ death occurs at a controversial moment when health precautions have been politicized as a violation of constitutional freedoms.
Texas recorded a record number of new cases this week after Governor Greg Abbott announced that the state had doubled its infection rate last month.
The Macias family has launched a GoFundMe campaign to offset funeral expenses. You can make a contribution here.