NATIONAL CITY, Calf. (KGTV) - A National City family grieving the loss of a beloved husband and father, who died from COVID-19 complications at the age of 46.
Antonio Alvarez first started feeling sick December 10.
"Chills, burning in the eyes, runny nose," said his daughter Juana Alvarez.
She says a fever and breathing trouble followed. After three days, his wife brought him to the ER.
"He had a brain fog and then chest pain. That’s what really caused him to go to the hospital," said Juana.
Alvarez tested positive for COVID-19. The next day, Alvarez was placed on a ventilator.
Alvarez suffered from Type 2 Diabetes and his condition deteriorated quickly after several days. His kidneys failed, then his other organs. Two days before
Christmas, the husband and father of two, passed away.
"Just surreal and painful. It just happened so quickly," said Juana.
Juana says her dad, who worked in construction, worked hard and loved to joke around. Above all, he loved his family.
"He would get up early in the morning to make us breakfast on the weekends even though he was tired from work ... always wanted his kids to know he loved them. He's the best dad I could ask for," said Juana.
Juana says her father was diligent about wearing masks, but took off his mask briefly while recently dropping off supplies for several family members.
"He thought how they weren't in the same room as him, he could take off his mask, but he forgot the particles could still be in the air," said Juana.
Juana says the relatives he visited had been at a family gathering during Thanksgiving in Riverside County. In all, some five other family members have since tested positive for COVID-19, and are recovering.
As local COVID-19 death rates continue to climb, Juana made an urgent plea.
"I know it’s difficult not to see family members, especially around the holidays, but it’s best to keep quarantined ... If it’s really necessary, at least wear a mask," said Juana.
A Gofundme campaign has been set up to help the family with funeral and other expenses.