A Chula Vista family's trip to Mexico to visit a dying relative took an unfortunate turn when several of them, including their 72-year-old grandfather, contracted COVID-19. Unfortunately, on Jan. 8 Hector Villaseñor, 72, passed away from complications due to the disease.
“I see pictures of my dad and not even a month ago he was here, healthy, fine, not an issue in the world with his health, and in a matter of weeks, gone,” said Jerry Villaseñor about his father.
In November, Hector Villaseñor was compelled to get on a plane to Mexico in order to be by the side of his brother who was dying of cancer, Jerry Villaseñor said.
“A few days after he arrived, my uncle passed away, and then two days after that everybody started coming down with COVID in the house," said Jerry Villaseñor.
After three weeks on a ventilator, Hector Villaseñor made progress and was removed. However, days later he was re-admitted and passed away after catching a secondary infection.
“The last words that I told my dad was the day he got released which was the day before he passed away that he was doing good and he was looking great and that I love him,” said Jerry. “That I was on my way to help him recover.”
Within the last two months, COVID-19 deaths in San Diego County have more than doubled. On Nov.11 the County reported 918 deaths, and as of Jan. 10 there were 1,857 reported deaths.
Hector Villaseñor, a proud immigrant, dedicated his life to his family and working in the San Diego hospitality industry for more than 50 years.
“I have the life that I have because of my dad and he took the initiative to immigrate to this country and give us a better life and I'm going to do that and my kids are going to do that and that's the best I can do to honor him,” he said.
As the South Bay family honors their loved one's memory, they ask that others heed the warnings.
“Understanding that as uncomfortable, as unpleasant, as boring as it may seem for us to have to stay home and just stay secluded right now, it's a small price to pay to not be in my shoes,” said Jerry Villaseñor.
The Villaseñor family is collecting donations to help pay for the medical expenses endured. They plan to donate any excess donations to pay for oxygen concentrators for other families in need.