A California man says he and 27 members of his family have tested positive for coronavirus, including his father, which he succumbed to the disease shortly before Father’s Day.
Richard Garay told Los Angeles KTLA station that he was the first in his family to experience COVID-19 symptoms last month.
“It went from a runny nose to a headache to a full-blown fever,” Garay said.
Shortly thereafter, his father Vidal Garay, 60, also took the disease and his condition deteriorated rapidly.
“It was painful to see my father’s health decline so drastically in front of me,” Garay said at the store.
His last words to his father were: “Dad, I don̵
But while Garay finally recovered, his father did not die on June 20, a day before Father’s Day.
It’s unclear how many people in the family have been infected, but Garay thinks it may have been from a relative he visited in mid-May or from his mother’s caretaker, according to CBSLA.
Most of Garay’s relatives who fell ill, including their children and his brother’s pregnant wife, also recovered.
But Garay said he is sharing his family history as a cautionary tale for people taking steps to protect themselves and their loved ones from the virus.
“I don’t want my father’s death to be in vain,” he said. “I want people to understand that coronavirus is a real thing.”