OCEANSIDE, Calif. (KGTV) - Family members grieving the COVID-19 death of an Oceanside grandfather are now on a mission to fulfill his dying wish.
Just days after a member of his extended family became sick in early January, Jesus Acevedo came down with his own symptoms.
"Started getting a fever and a lot of chills. Then a loss of taste," said his stepdaughter Marysol Xinol.
Less than two weeks later, he was admitted into the ER with breathing issues, testing positive for COVID-19.
10 days later, on January 29th, he was placed on a ventilator.
On Friday, Acevedo, a father of seven and grandfather of 10, passed away at the age of 56.
"I got very emotional. Lots of tears. Just couldn't believe he was actually gone," said his daughter, Yadira Acevedo, 16.
"He was the best dad you could ask for," said Xinol.
His children call him supportive, a dedicated family man and hardworking. As a longtime landscaper, he was known for his smile.
"He had a beautiful smile. Everybody loved to see him smile ... Always smiling, even through tough times," said Yadira.
Jesus tried to be in good spirits during a Facetime call with Yadira a few days after he was admitted. He vowed to fight, but expressed a wish he had mentioned before.
"He said if anything ever happens to me, you know what I want ... to be sent to Mexico," said Yadira.
Jesus grew up in Oaxaca, Mexico, before coming to the San Diego area when he was 18. He was hoping next year to retire there, where his father lives.
"His dad is still alive and that's always been his wish, is to be buried next to his dad," said Xinol.
His family members is now trying to make the wish come true.
They've started a Gofundme campaign to bring Jesus home.
"He was such a great person. He deserves to have his last wish fulfilled," said Yadira.