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Beloved Oceanside High custodian dies after long COVID battle

'Miguel Perkins was hesitant about getting vaccine'
Beloved Oceanside High custodian dies after long COVID battle
Posted at 4:54 PM, May 21, 2021

OCEANSIDE, Calif. (KGTV) - Loved ones mourning the COVID-19 death of a beloved custodian at Oceanside High.

Miguel Perkins' wife Minerva was the first to feel ill. A week later, his daughter Michelle says Miguel also became sick. By mid-March, both had tested positive for COVID-19.

Miguel was admitted into the ER two times in a span of two weeks, eventually being diagnosed with pneumonia.

After a month in the hospital, Miguel had to be intubated, even though he was no longer COVID positive.

The day before he was to be intubated, Michelle was allowed to visit him and revealed to him that she was pregnant.

“We were able to give him the news. He was happy and se smiled … It means a lot. He always wanted grandchildren,” said a tearful Michelle.

Three weeks later, on Monday, Miguel, a father of two, passed away at the age of 71.

“Immense pain in your heart. It’s hard to describe,” said Michelle Perkins.

Michelle calls her dad a stern, but caring father who loved his job. He had worked as custodian in the Oceanside Unified School District for more than two decades, the last eight years at Oceanside High. He refused to retire.

“He loved being around the school and the kids. He loved to going to the library. He loved to read,” said Michelle.

As loved ones grieve, they are haunted by one detail.

Miguel tested positive for COVID-19 about six weeks after he became eligible for the vaccine. Miguel, a diabetic, was never vaccinated.

“He was skeptical, nervous and scared at first. Didn't know what to think of it since it was pretty new … I think his stance was, he wanted to see what other people’s reactions were to the vaccine before he got vaccinated,” said Michelle.

Her message to others: Don't hesitate.

“Why take that big of a gamble? If you can get it, why not get it? Who knows how it could have helped my dad … I know if my dad wouldn’t have gotten COVID, he’d still be here. Now we have to go on without him,” said Michelle.

A Gofundme campaign has been set up to help the family with expenses.

The Oceanside Unified School District issued the following statement:

"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 are supporting 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."