Oceanside Father Loses Battle to COVID-19, Family Shares Message About Vaccine Hesitancy

Miguel Perkins, 71, was a respected custodian at Oceanside High School who fought a long battle with COVID-19 until he passed away. His diagnosis happened while he was deciding whether or not he should get a vaccine

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Miguel Perkins spent the last 20 years working for the Oceanside Unified school district as a custodian. His wife Minerva Perkins said he had no intentions of retiring, but when COVID-19 struck their family and sent them both to the hospital, everything changed.

"I wasn't really thinking or counting that I was going to be in the hospital too," said Minerva, 61.

In mid-March, Minerva tested positive for COVID-19, just a week before she had gotten her first dose of the Pfizer shot, but the virus also spread to her husband Miguel,71, who had diabetes and was not yet vaccinated.

Minerva said Miguel was afraid the vaccine would complicate the medication he was taking for his diabetes and that he was going to wait and see.

"I'm kind of pissed in a way that you know he didn't, that we didn't do it ahead of time," Minerva said through tears. "Sometimes we don't understand how God works- if he let this happen so we can learn a lesson, who knows, time will tell and it's not going to be easy."

By late March, the longtime couple was hospitalized.

"It was kind of hard to have one parent who was you know recovering and then to have another one not recovering," said Krysteen Perkins.

Krysteen says she was relieved when her mom came home and worked to assist her parents in their recovery, as her dad was in and out of the hospital.

"She did everything of feeding us and all that stuff and I'm thankful for that, 'Thank you mama for everything you did because it is hard,' but she was there," said Minerva to her daughter.

Despite the Perkins family's struggle there were glimmers of hope and cherished moments even through Miguel's hospitalization, like when he found out he was going to be a grandfather.

"You could see the difference when he was going to become a grandpa in his eyes, they were totally different it was so exciting," Minerva said.

But by May, Miguel known as hardworking and patient was intubated for two weeks and did not survive.

"And I wish that we can go back in time and have all that, but we cannot go back," she said.

Minerva has returned to work and shares what motivated her to get the shot in the first place.

"I did it because I was worried about him, her [Krysteen], and my oldest daughter and I had to think of others and I had to think of my oldest daughter because she's pregnant," she said. "It's not about me it's about others."

The Oceanside Unified School district shared the following statement after Miguel's passing.

We were deeply saddened to learn of the passing of our beloved team member Miguel Perkins. Miguel was an admired and respected employee. Our hearts, prayers and thoughts are with his family and loved ones. We will continue to support the family in any way that we can, and appreciate the support of the community during this difficult time. Miguel worked in Oceanside USD for more than 20 years and will be greatly missed by all those that knew him.

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