A Texas mother’s dying wish before she died of COVID-19 was that her four children get vaccinated against the virus.
After a week-long trip at church camp, Lydia Rodriguez, 42, of Galveston, Texas, and other members of her family tested positive for the coronavirus.
Rodriguez hadn’t been vaccinated because she thought her body was strong enough to fight COVID-19 without the vaccine but – by the time she wanted the vaccine it was too late, reported The Washington Post.
Instead, she was placed on a ventilator, her cousin Dottie Jones told The Washington Post.
The mother-of-four lost her husband, Lawrence, to the virus at the beginning of August, and before she lost her own battle to it Monday.
Lydia Rodriguez, 42 (left), and her husband Lawrence Rodriguez, 49 (right), who passed away from coronavirus complications said they wish they had been vaccinated
‘Please make sure my kids get vaccinated’: Mother-of-four Lydia Rodriguez (center), 42, who died of COVID-19 after being infected at week-long church camp, asked her sister to promise that her children will be immunized against the virus
Before her passing on Monday, Rodriguez had made one final request during a phone call to her sister: ‘Please make sure my kids get vaccinated.’
Two weeks prior to her death, the mother of four lost her husband, Lawrence, 49, from coronavirus complications with them in the same intensive care unit.
The couple, who were married for 21 years, were among the millions of Americans, who did not receive the coronavirus vaccine, which is available to anyone over the age of 12.
Health officials have stressed that the vaccine significantly lowers one’s chance of developing complications from the virus.
Parents Lydia and Lawrence Rodriguez died from COVID-19 within weeks of each other, leaving behind their four children: 18-year-old twins (top), a 16-year-old boy (bottom left) and an 11-year-old girl (bottom right)
The tragic story of the Rodriguez family reflects that of other unvaccinated patients who request doctors for vaccine after COVID-19 seriously affects their health.
‘Lydia has never really believed in vaccines,’ Jones, 55, told The Post.
The case of the Rodriguez family reflects that of other unvaccinated patients
‘She believed that she could handle everything on her own, that you didn’t really need medicine.’
Jones, a neonatal nurse could have supplied her cousin with endless amounts of information on the benefits of the vaccine but it was always going to be a hard sell:
‘I knew she would never get vaccinated,’ Jones said. ‘I was very concerned.’
Rodriguez’s husband, who also didn’t believe in the effectiveness of vaccines, also declined to get the jab, reported The Post.
In early July, days after Rodriguez and her children returned from a Christian church retreat, the family fell ill.
In a short amount of time, the entire family caught COVID-19, including Rodriguez’s husband, who did not attend camp due to work.
Rodriguez was admitted to the ICU on July 12, and her husband was admitted to another ward, Jones said.
Texas, which has a 50-60% vaccination rate, is one of the many southern states that has seen its number of new daily infections rise since the delta variant hit the U.S.
By then, the rest of the family ran errands and took care of the couple’s four children while they were quarantining at home after catching the virus from their parents.
The youngest child was the only one to experience mild symptoms while the other three were asymptomatic. according The Post.
Lawrence Rodriguez requested a vaccine before being put on a ventilator, but it was also too late for him and he died on August 2.
At the time, Lydia Rodriguez was on an oxygen mask that prevented her from talking to her children.
‘We are praying for you and taking care of the kids,’ Jones recalled telling her cousin, according to The Post.
Hospital staff called the family on August 16 to report that Rodriguez had passed away. Two days later, Wednesday, would have been her 43rd birthday.
The family made sure to to honor Rodriguez’s last wish.
The couple’s eldest children, 18-year-old twins, have since been vaccinated, the 16-year-old son will soon be vaccinated and they will also schedule an appointment for the 11-year-old daughter as soon as she turns age 12.
‘Our hearts are just broken,’ Jones told ABC 13.
‘We hurt for the kids. Please vaccinate. It is our desire that no other family have to endure this preventable scenario.
A fundraiser set up by Jones for the Rodriguez family, who are reportedly now in the care of extended family, which has – as of Wednesday – collected nearly $50,000.43.