A California man says he and 27 family members tested positive for the coronavirus, including his father, who succumbed to the disease just before Father’s Day.
Richard Garay told Los Angeles-based KTLA television station that he was the first in his family to develop symptoms of COVID-19 last month.
“He went from running his nose to a full-blown headache and fever,” Garay said.
Soon after, her father, Vidal Garay, 60, also contracted the disease and his condition quickly worsened.
“It was painful to see my father’s health decline so dramatically in front of me,” Garay told the media.
His last words to his father were: “Dad, I don’t think he’s going to make it.”
But although Garay eventually recovered, his father did not, he passed away on June 20, a day before Father’s Day.
It is unclear how so many people in the family became infected, but Garay believes it could have been from a relative he visited in mid-May or from his mother’s caretaker, according to CBSLA.
Most of Garay’s family members who became ill, including his own children and his brother’s pregnant wife, have also recovered.
But Garay said he is sharing his family’s story as a warning for people to take steps to protect themselves and their loved ones against 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.”