ROSENBERG, Texas — If there is anyone who knows just how real and how devastating COVID-19 can be, it’s the Rodriguez family of Rosenberg. This month, they’ve lost three family members to the virus.
For the past two weeks, Alfonzo Rodriguez Jr. has been going through pictures, gathering memories of his parents. Married for nearly 68 years, they had eight children and dozens of grandchildren.
“The perfect parents,” Rodriguez Jr. said. “Always wanted nothing but the best for us. What marriage is supposed to be.”
He’s also been collecting pictures of his brother, Rudy, described lovingly as a character and father.
“Three daughters and a son,” Rodriguez Jr. said. "Never stopped loving him.”
They're memories Rodriguez Jr. has been holding onto as he’s planned all three of their funerals.
“I have lost my mother, my father, and my brother in one fell swoop,” he said.
Alfonzo Rodriguez, 87, his wife Porfiria Morales Rodriguez, 86, and their son Rudy Morales Rodriguez, 55, all died from COVID-19.
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They’d lived together in Rosenberg. Rudy was disabled from a stroke he’d suffered several years ago, and they all took care of each other.
However, the first week of June, they got sick with coronavirus, and they’re not sure how. Rodriguez Jr. said only his father had been leaving the house for groceries and always wore a mask and gloves.
The father got sick first, but within days of each other, they were all hospitalized at OakBend Medical Center in Richmond.
Rodriguez Jr. said he’d tried to get all three of them into larger Houston hospitals where more aggressive treatments, like plasma treatments, were being conducted but was unsuccessful.
“We tried to go everywhere in Houston but there were no beds available," he said.
Rudy Rodriguez died June 8. His mother died June 9. That same day, his father was airlifted to UTMB in Galveston when a bed became available, but 10 days later, on June 19, he died, too.
“I’m so sick of making funeral arrangements. I’m sick of it," Rodriguez Jr. said.
To add to the heartbreak, Rodriguez Jr.'s sister has spent two weeks hospitalized for COVID-19 and has been unable to attend the funerals.
“Having to listen to her crying, sobbing, and there’s nobody there to put their arms around her," he said.
This virus has been cruel to the Rodriguez family. They ask the public to remember that cruelty when out in public.
“Businesses need to open. I understand that. But can you please, for somebody else’s sake, can you wear a mask in case you’re sick? It’s devastated us," Rodriguez Jr. said.
Rodriguez Jr. said although this has been the hardest time in their lives, their family does take some comfort in their memories and faith.
“They all died together. Nobody has to worry about who’s going to take care of who. God took care of it all," he said.
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