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‘Make sure my kids get vaccinated’

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A number of weeks in the past, Lydia Rodriguez thought her body was sturdy sufficient to struggle the coronavirus with out the vaccine.

But after a week-long church camp, she and different members of her household examined optimistic for the coronavirus. By the time Rodriguez, 42, modified her thoughts and asked for the shot, it was too late, her physician mentioned. A ventilator awaited her, her cousin Dottie Jones informed The Washington Post.

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Out of choices, the Galveston, Texas, mom of 4, asked her household to make a promise: “Please make sure my kids get vaccinated,” Rodriguez, a piano instructor, informed her sister throughout their final telephone name.

Rodriguez died Monday – two weeks after her husband, Lawrence Rodriguez, 49, additionally died after coronavirus issues. The couple fought the virus from hospital beds only a few toes from each other in a Texas intensive care unit, Jones mentioned.

Lydia and Lawrence Rodriguez, who have been married for 21 years, have been among the many tens of thousands and thousands of Americans who haven’t but obtained no less than one dose of the coronavirus vaccine, which is on the market free to anybody over the age of 12. Health officers have harassed that the vaccine considerably lowers one’s likelihood of changing into severely unwell or dying of the virus. The now-orphaned kids of the Rodriguez household be a part of the thousands and thousands tragically affected by the typically lethal sickness.

The case of the Rodriguez household echoes that of different unvaccinated sufferers who’ve begged their medical doctors for vaccine doses earlier than being intubated.

“Lydia has never really believed in vaccines,” Jones, 55, informed The Post. “She believed that she could handle everything on her own, that you didn’t really need medicine.”

A neonatal nurse, Jones was acquainted with the intense results covid-19 had on moms and infants she handled on the Sugarland, Texas, hospital the place she labored. She shared with Rodriguez how she had watched affected person after affected person be linked to a ventilator for weeks with out a lot enchancment.

Jones may have gone on and on. But her cousin’s silence spoke for itself, she mentioned.

“I knew she would never get vaccinated,” Jones informed The Post. “I was very concerned.”

Rodriguez’s husband, who shared her anti-vaccine beliefs, additionally declined to get the shot. Three of their 4 kids are eligible however haven’t but obtained the vaccine, Jones mentioned.

In early July, days after Rodriguez and the youngsters returned from a Christian church camp, Jones’s worst fears grew to become true. One by one, every member of the household – together with Rodriguez’s husband, who didn’t attend camp due to work – examined optimistic for the coronavirus.

The household did not inform anybody they have been sick till Rodriguez’s husband drove her to the hospital on July 12 after she started experiencing shortness of breath. Rodriguez was admitted to the ICU, and her husband was admitted to a different ward, Jones mentioned.

By then, the remainder of the household stepped in to carry groceries and drugs to the couple’s 4 kids, who have been all contaminated and quarantining at residence. The youngest youngster was the one one to expertise delicate signs, Jones mentioned. The relaxation have been asymptomatic.

At one level, Lawrence Rodriguez’s situation gave the impression to be bettering, however a few days after he was admitted, he was rushed to the ICU. He requested a coronavirus vaccine shortly earlier than being placed on a ventilator, Jones mentioned, nevertheless it was additionally too late for him. He died Aug. 2.

By then, Lydia Rodriguez was totally depending on an oxygen masks that prevented her from speaking to her kids, who referred to as to verify in and sing Christian hymns to raise her spirits.

“We are praying for you and taking care of the kids,” Jones recounted telling her cousin throughout her final days. Hospital workers referred to as the household on Aug. 16 to report that Rodriguez had died.

The household has relayed her final needs in regards to the vaccine to the couple’s 18-year-old twins, Jones mentioned. The plan is to schedule an appointment for the 11-year-old daughter as quickly as she qualifies, and the couple’s 16-year-old son is anticipated to get the shot quickly.

The household has created a web based fundraiser to assist the Rodriguez kids whereas the courts determine who will turn into the guardian of the minors.

Wednesday is anticipated to be a troublesome day for the 4 siblings, Jones mentioned. Their mother would have turned 43.

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