An unvaccinated 25-year-old California man died of COVID-19 earlier this month after developing pneumonia and spending more than a month in the hospital.
His fiancée told news station KSEE that the couple had scheduled vaccine appointments two days before the man, Alberto Valencia Vidales, ended up testing positive for COVID.
“It does not leave out anyone, it is the devil’s playground,” Vidales’ fiancée, Ali McDaniel, said of the virus. “And I just pray that no one else has to play in it the way that we have.”
McDaniel has now been vaccinated and told the news station that Vidales’ dying wish was for her to get the shot.
“So many regrets,” she said. “Just the urgency. I lost what everyone in my generation is experiencing. Weddings, multiple kids, a home.”
Vidales worked as a security guard and school resource officer in California’s Laton Unified School District.
According to KSEE, Vidales’ uncle and grandfather also died from COVID-19 in January.
According to a GoFundMe page set up for Vidales’ mother following his death, Vidales was transported to the hospital on August 17th “because of complications with Covid.”
He was put on a ventilator on August 27, and later an extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) machine. ECMO machines are used to remove, oxygenate and replace blood in the body so the heart and lungs can rest.
The GoFundMe stated that Vidales’ doctors “did everything in their power to help him.”
“They never gave up but, unfortunately, on Oct. 2nd, 2021, Alberto took his last breath,” the page read.
“Our hearts are shattered! Alberto a.k.a Pinky was a bright, ambitious, smart, funny young man. He was the jokester and life of the party! And everyone’s favorite person! His family is left with only pictures and videos to keep his memory alive.” it added.
“He will be forever missed. Alberto is the 3rd loss in this family due to Covid this year.”
Newsweek attempted to reach Vidales’ family through the GoFundMe page Sunday morning.
According to statewide data, just over 72 percent of California residents have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Another roughly 8 percent of residents have been partially vaccinated.
On their website tracking COVID-19 data, California health officials note that between September 26 and October 2, unvaccinated people were 12 times more likely to be hospitalized with COVID-19 than those who were fully vaccinated.
A study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released in September found that unvaccinated people are more than 11 times more likely to die from the disease and five times more likely to face infection.