As the current situation with the Coronavirus pandemic continues to surge, families and friends continue to live divided lives. Hope has come in the form of new vaccines and their distribution across the globe, however, the tragedies continue.
Now, a San Diego family, whose patriarchs weren’t able to receive vaccines, is suffering deeply.
Juan and Blanca Rodriguez passed away from COVID this past week within hours of saying their last goodbyes on Zoom.
The middle school sweethearts met in the seventh grade spent decades together as a married couple until passing away at the age of sixty-seven. Juan and Blanca met in the seventh grade, were married five years later, and went onto have four children and six grandchildren.
“He saw my mom in homeroom in seventh grade, and he said from the moment he saw her, he knew he was going to marry her,” the couple’s daughter Cynthia Rodriguez explained in an interview to NBC12.
This past January, Juan and Blanca were retired and living with one of their children when everyone in the family contracted COVID-19.
Their illnesses came as a surprise to the family particularly because they had been extremely cautious.
“We quarantined. We didn’t go out. We didn’t even go to stores. We would order food delivery,” the couple’s other daughter Blanca Velazquez explained.
While the family eventually recovered, on Feb. 1 Juan and Blanca were rushed to the hospital. The couple was sent to two separate facilities and communicated with their family through Zoom.
Over the weekend, after Juan’s condition continued to worsen his family said virtual goodbyes.
“My mom was on the Zoom call, and she told my dad that she was happy that she was able to share her life with him, and she thanked him for being the love of her life,” explained Velazquez.
Juana and Blanca’s son Juan Rodriguez Jr. revealed on a GoFundMe page set up to help with funeral expenses that not long after Blanca’s call with Juan, the family received a call from Blanca “saying she was not doing well and they had to put her on a ventilator as well. The Dr. called a few hours later and said she didn’t respond to the ventilator and there was nothing else they could do for her.”
Blanca passed away three hours after her call with her family on Feb. 8 at 12:30 a.m. Later, Juan died at 4:18 a.m.
“Losing one parent is bad enough, but losing them both on the same day has been both devastating and heartbreaking. We have peace in knowing that since they were always together in life, they could not be apart in death as well,” Juan Jr. wrote. “He couldn’t live without her, so, he just let go. It’s like an epic love story, that they went together in the same day. They were the best parents,” Velazquez told NBC12.
As of Thursday afternoon, the family’s GoFundMe raised $16,897 toward its $25,000 goal.
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