OCEANSIDE, Calif. (KGTV) - The family of Junior Seau is grieving the COVID-19 death of a beloved mother and grandmother.
Andrea Seau, 50, started feeling sick in mid-September.
“Body aches, headaches, and chills,” said Toalima Taele, Seau’s daughter.
Taele, 30, said six days later, her mom was admitted into a hospital with COVID pneumonia. Just over a week later, Seau was placed on a ventilator. On October 8, Seau, a mother of six and grandmother of 10, passed away from COVID-19 complications.
"Devastating and heartbreaking. It was unreal. Just felt very unreal,” said Taele.
Taele calls her mom, whose husband is a cousin to Junior Seau, a pillar of her family.
“She was wonderful. She was beautiful. She was caring, someone people looked up to,” said Taele.
Seau worked as a machine operator in a sheet metal shop. She was also a devoted football mom. Her youngest plays football at El Camino High.
“She was at every game, was helping out when they had to feed the kids, the football team,” said Taele.
In the wake of her death, coaches at the school have started a GoFundMe campaign to help the family.
"Very overwhelming. Appreciate them so much for doing that. Shows how much she was loved,” said Taele.
As a family mourns, Taele is left recalling a hospital phone call with her Seau before she was intubated, when Seau asked her daughter to look into vaccination.
“We’re both diabetics. She encouraged me to think about it,” said Taele.
Taele says her mom, who was initially hesitant about the vaccine, had recently decided to get a vaccine and was in the process of re-scheduling an appointment for her first dose.
“I strongly feel like it's something I should do for myself, for my kids and my family,” said Taele.