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Family mourns COVID-19 death of Chula Vista great-grandfather as wife remains on ventilator

Posted at 3:55 PM, Dec 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-08 20:57:15-05

CHULA VISTA, Calif. (KGTV) - Loved ones are grieving the COVID-19 death of a South Bay great-grandfather, while his wife fights for her life on a ventilator.

George Torres, 67, first started feeling sick in early November.

"He had a headache, diarrhea, and shortness of breath," said his daughter Rachel Cedillos.

Cedillos says his symptoms got worse and in mid-November. George was taken to the ER, tested positive for COVID-19 and placed on a ventilator one day later.

Several days later, his wife of 49 years, Alma came down with her own symptoms. By the end of the month, both of Cedillos' parents were on a ventilator.

On December 3, George Torres, a grandfather of nine and a great-grandfather, passed away.

"Oddly enough, I felt panic. Didn't know what to do. All I could do was just cry," said a tearful Cedillos.

Cedillos says her father was always joking and laughing, and made everyone feel comfortable.

"The friendliest man. The greatest man to talk to about anything ... He was silly almost all the time ... He loved, loved his grandchildren," said Cedillos.

He worked as a part-time handyman and Lyft driver seven days a week. Cedillos isn't sure how her father contracted the virus, but says he was diligent about masks, for himself, and his passengers.

"If they refused, he would refuse to give them a ride," said Cedillos.

As COVID-19 cases continue to grow, Cedillos makes this urgent appeal.

"Please, please be careful. Be responsible. Wear a mask," said Cedillos.

As for Cedillo's mother, Cedillos says she's performed well on recent breathing tests, and is hopeful she'll recover. Alma does not yet know her husband has passed.

"It’s extremely painful knowing we have to tell her weren’t she wakes up," said Cedillos.

George did not have any underlying conditions. Alma suffers from high blood pressure.

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