SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - Loved ones are grieving the loss of a Linda Vista grandfather and Laotian refugee to COVID-19 complications.
Two Tuesdays ago, Chino Lor, 64, who worked at a local engineering firm, tested negative for COVID-19, part of routine weekly testing.
Two days later, on Christmas Eve, he felt sick.
"His temperature was really high. He was mostly sleeping, laying down," said his daughter, Vicky Lor.
Vicky says his fever appeared to break, but then returned. Her father didn't want to go to a hospital.
"He kept saying, 'I tested negative, so it's nothing,'" said VIcky.
Five days after the first symptoms, Vicky got a call from her brother. Their father had collapsed on the floor.
"Within 20 minutes, he went from being able to breathe a little bit to not being able to breathe at all," said Vicky.
Lor wouldn't make it to a hospital. The father of eight and grandfather of four was pronounced dead in the ambulance. A post-mortem test revealed he was COVID-19 positive.
Vicky calls her father a serious man and devoted dad.
"I loved making him laugh because he was so serious," said Vicky.
A Laotian refugee, he lived in San Diego for more than three decades, working hard to make his family's life better.
"He was someone who came to this country with no experience and barely any English. He was able to pick up a minimum-wage job, to feed, house and raise eight children. He worked side jobs and did everything to help his family." said Vicky.
Vicky says her father, who didn't have any underlying conditions, was diligent about wearing masks. She doesn't know how he contracted the virus, but she is certain about her regret. She wishes she would have brought her dad to the hospital sooner.
"I believe if we have forced him, he would still be here with us today ... If an older person becomes sick, please act quickly," said Vicky.
A Gofundme campaign has been set up to help the family with burial expenses.