A widowed San Diego father of four, Alfredo Huerta, who is battling the coronavirus, is trying to recover at home while dealing with mounting medical bills. Despite his struggles, the Linda Vista man says it's a promise he made to his late wife that's motivating him to go on.
"My kids are totally a motivator for me, but not only because I made a promise to my wife that I'm going to take care of my kids, not only that," Huerta, 53, said via video call. "I just love them, and, you know, I work for them."
Huerta said he's been dealing with a nightmarish situation for the past five years. In 2015 he lost his wife, Sara, to cancer.
"For me, it's going to be five years, but It's like it happened yesterday," Huerta said. "It's been really tough for me. I mean, actually, for the five of us."
Huerta's children are 26, 20,18 and 13. He said they are a tight family unit that has also dealt with his oldest son's fight with bone cancer, he is now in remission.
The widowed father runs a successful landscaping business based out of Linda Vista.
"I'm a gardener, " Huerta said. "I love my job."
Huerta, though, is desperate to get back to work. Two and a half weeks ago, he was hospitalized for what he thought was a serious complication from his asthma.
"They put me on oxygen because I couldn't breathe at all, and they told me they are going to do the test for COVID, and they did, and they told me I was positive," Huerta said.
Huerta was sent home the same day, but his condition worsened, and three days later, he was hospitalized again.
"It was really bad," Huerta said. "I thought I was going to die. I was afraid, you know, my four kids at home, two of them that were positive."
Huerta's two childen who tested positive for COVID-19 are recovering well at home, he said.
Motivated by his promise to his late wife to care for their children after her death, Huerta prevailed.
"I told her, if they have a good life with me as a father, as a single father, I would like them to go to college," Huerta said. "That way they can start and get a better life for their kids, you know, better than we are right now."
The beloved Linda Vista landscaper is recovering at home and doing his best to keep his spirits high, but he is still experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. His friends have created an online fundraiser for him since he is currently unable to work.