Retired Otay Mesa foster dad dies from COVID-19

Posted at 4:06 PM, Jul 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-17 00:04:54-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - Family members in the South Bay mourning the death of a beloved grandfather and foster parent from coronavirus.

Enrique Gonzalez, 68, was doing everything right. He was staying at home. His family was shopping for him. A month ago, he got sick.

"Runny nose, body aches, fever," said his nephew, Fernando Gonzalez.

Fernando says within a week, Gonzalez tested positive for COVID-19.

"As soon as he had trouble breathing and talking, we took him to the hospital," said Fernando.

Doctors put him on a ventilator and into a medically induced coma. Weeks later, after suffering cardiac arrest, his condition deteriorated. A nurse helped his large family talk to him through Facetime calls.

"Told him jokes, playing music for him ... praying for him. Really tough not to be in the room," said Fernando.

A week ago, Gonzalez passed away.

"Just devastating to everybody," said Fernando.

Fernando says the family now grieving the loss of a hard-working man with the biggest of hearts. After Gonzalez retired from decades working in construction, he and his wife decided to become foster parents, fostering over 20 children in the past 4 years.

"Even when he passed away, still fostering an infant ... All of a sudden, you're reminded that this COVID-19 does not discriminate ... goes after whoever picks it up. If you really value your family and friends, these restrictions are a temporary timeout," said Fernando.

Fernando is urging others to follow shutdown orders and wear masks.

"Be patient. You do have your loved ones, and you're able to create new memories rather than someone losing their life," said Fernando.

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