GALVESTON, Texas – An unvaccinated Galveston couple died from COVID-19 complications just weeks apart in an area hospital, but not without leaving a message behind for their four children.
According to a report from The Washington Post, Lydia Rodriguez, her husband Lawrence Rodriguez and all of their kids tested positive for COVID-19 following a week-long church camp.
Lydia, 42, was admitted to the ICU on July 12, and her husband, 49, was admitted to another ward, according to The Post. The children were quarantined at home as other family members stepped in to care for them.
The youngest child had mild symptoms, but the other three were asymptomatic, The Post reports.
Eventually, both Lydia and Lawrence were placed in the intensive care unit, fighting the virus just a few feet away from each other, according to The Post.
Lawrence died just two weeks before Lydia, who succumbed to the virus on Monday, Aug. 16, according to The Post. They left behind their four children, who are now orphans.
The couple didn’t intend to get the vaccine at first. However, by the time Lydia changed her mind, it was too late, The Post reports.
“Lydia has never really believed in vaccines,” her cousin Dottie Jones, 55, told The Post. “She believed that she could handle everything on her own, that you didn’t really need medicine.”
Before Lydia died, she asked her sister to make a promise during their last phone call: “Please make sure my kids get vaccinated.”
That message was passed on to the couple’s 18-year-old twins, who also plan on scheduling an appointment for their 11-year-old sibling when she’s eligible and will get their 16-year-old sibling vaccinated soon.
According to The Post, Lydia and Lawrence Rodriguez were married for 21 years, and neither had received at least one dose of the vaccine.
With the Delta variant surging throughout the state of Texas and nationwide, health officials are urging the best protection against COVID-19 is the vaccines, which are free and available for anyone over the age of 12.
For more on COVID-19 vaccines and where to schedule your appointment, click here.