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Family hopes to fulfill final wish after beloved grandfather's long battle with COVID-19

Family hopes to fulfill final wish after beloved grandfather's long battle with COVID-19
Posted at 4:37 PM, Feb 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-22 20:40:37-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - A local family is facing challenges in hopes of making a final wish come true after a City Heights grandfather died of COVID-19.

One of Dante Lorenzo’s family members was the first to become sick, followed by Lorenzo’s wife, and Lorenzo himself in mid-November.

"Mild dry cough, but mainly the body aches." said Lorenzo's daughter, Ashley Yousif.

Yousif says Lorenzo tested positive for COVID-19 and later, days after a two-week stint in the hospital, he was readmitted in mid-December.

A longtime commercial painter, Lorenzo talked to his family via Facetime.

"He had told us in the hospital, 'You know what, this is it. I want to retire. I'm done working. I want to enjoy the rest of my life,'" said Yousif.

After several weeks in the hospital, he was placed on a ventilator. Six weeks later, on Valentine’s day, Lorenzo, a husband, father and doting grandfather, passed away at the age of 67.

"It's just heartbreaking ... His love just exuded. It was just flowing through him all the time. I think that’s why God took him on Valentine’s Day, to remind us of how much he meant to everybody," said Yousif.

Yousif says her father was a funny, hardworking, family man, whose last wish was well-known: to be buried in his family’s plot in Tijuana, alongside his mother.

"It’s very important he lays to rest with his mom, who was his partner in crime until she passed," said Yousif.

Yousif says because Mexico isn’t allowing viewings for COVID-19 victims, the viewing and cremation must be done in San Diego, which will more than triple the burial costs.

Those are costs Lorenzo’s family can’t afford, but they vow to make his final request a reality.

"He gave us everything. He did everything to provide for us. We believe it’s just and right to give him his last wish," said Yousif.

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