Mom Of 4's Plea Before Dying Of COVID: 'Make Sure My Kids Get Vaccinated'

by Erica Gerald Mason
Originally Published: 

In heartbreaking news, four children are left without parents after losing both to COVID

Remember, we’re still in a pandemic. Something many of us have forgotten. As the Delta variant surges across the country and hospital resources are becoming scarce in areas with low covid vaccination rates, some families struggle with unbelievable loss.

The Rodriguez family in Galveston, Texas are one such family, The Washington Post reports. After attending a week-long church camp, Lydia Rodriguez and other members of her family tested positive for COVID, their cousin Dottie Jones tells the media outlet. The family had opted against receiving the COVID vaccine, but by the time Lydia changed her mind and asked for the shot, it was too late, her doctor said.

Instead of a vaccine, Lydia received a ventilator.

The Post further reports that the mother of four talked to her family in a final phone call and asked them to make her a promise: “Please make sure my kids get vaccinated.”

The paper went on to say that Rodriguez died Monday — which was two weeks after her husband, Lawrence Rodriguez, also died after coronavirus complications. The couple fought the virus from hospital beds just a few feet from one another in a Texas intensive care unit, Jones said.

The fate of Lydia and Lawrence Rodriguez, who were married for 21 years, is what healthcare officials fear most, as millions of Americans have not yet received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine. The medicine is available free to anyone over age 12, regardless of income, health insurance status, or occupation.

Health officials continue to stress that the vaccine significantly lowers one’s chance of becoming severely ill or dying of the virus.

The case of the Rodriguez family echoes that of other unvaccinated patients who have begged their doctors for vaccine doses before being intubated.

“Lydia has never really believed in vaccines,” Jones told The Post. “She believed that she could handle everything on her own, that you didn’t really need medicine.”

“I knew she would never get vaccinated,” Jones told The Post. “I was very concerned.”

Rodriguez’ husband also refused to receive the shot because he followed the same anti-vaccine beliefs. Jones said three of their four children are eligible for the vaccine but have not yet received it.

Days after Rodriguez and the children returned from a Christian church camp, Jones’s worst fears came true. Every member of the family – including Rodriguez’s husband, who wasn’t able to attend camp due to work – tested positive for the Coronavirus.

Despite experiencing shortness of breath, the Rodriguez family did not inform anyone about the family’s health until July 12 when Mr. Rodriguez drove her to the hospital. Mrs. Rodriguez was rushed to the ICU, while her husband was taken to another ward, Jones said.

Only one child reported mild symptoms, Jones said. All the others were asymptomatic.

A few days after Lawrence Rodriguez was admitted, his condition appeared to be improving, but he was rushed to the intensive care unit. Jones said he requested a Coronavirus vaccine shortly before being put on a ventilator, but it was too late. He died on Aug. 2.

Her oxygen mask prevented her from talking to her children, who called to check on her and sing Christian hymns in order to cheer her up. The hospital notified the family on Aug. 16 that Rodriguez had died.

The couple’s 18-year-old twins have been told her last wishes about the vaccine, Jones said. Upon qualifying, the family’s 11-year-old daughter is scheduled to get the vaccine, and their 16-year-old son is expected to get it soon.

In the meantime, the family has created an online fundraiser to raise money for the Rodriguez children while the courts figure out who will become their guardian.

The four siblings will have a difficult day on Wednesday, Jones said. It would have been their mom’s 43rd birthday.

Remember, folks. We are still in a pandemic.

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