California Couple, 67, Die of COVID-19 Hours After Final Zoom Call with Family to Say Their Last Goodbyes
Juan and Blanca Rodriguez met in middle school and married five years later
San Diego couple Juan and Blanca Rodriguez both died at the age of 67 of COVID-19 Monday within hours of saying their last goodbyes on Zoom.
The pair met in seventh grade, were married five years later and throughout the course of their marriage, welcomed four children and six grandchildren.
"He saw my mom in homeroom in seventh grade, and he said from the moment he saw her, he knew he was going to marry her," the couple's daughter Cynthia Rodriguez told NBC12.
Juan and Blanca were retired and living with some of their children when suddenly everyone in the family contracted COVID-19 in mid-January.
The family was shocked because they were extra cautious.
"We quarantined. We didn't go out. We didn't even go to stores. We would order food delivery," the couple's other daughter Blanca Velazquez said.
The siblings recovered, but on Feb. 1 the couple had to be rushed to the hospital.
Juan and Blanca were sent to two different care facilities where they could only communicate with their family via Zoom.
Over the weekend, Juan's condition worsened as he was on a ventilator and the family decided to say their goodbyes virtually.
"My mom was on the Zoom call, and she told my dad that she was happy that she was able to share her life with him, and she thanked him for being the love of her life," Velazquez said.
"Not long after that, we got a call about Blanca saying she was not doing well and they had to put her on a ventilator as well. The Dr. called a few hours later and said she didn't respond to the ventilator and there was nothing else they could do for her," the couple's son Juan Rodriguez Jr. revealed in a GoFundMe page set up to help with funeral expenses.
As of Thursday afternoon, the GoFundMe has raised $1,225 toward its $25,000 goal.
Three hours after the Zoom call, Blanca died on Feb. 8 at 12:30 a.m. Soon after, Juan died at 4:18 a.m., according to the GoFundMe.
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"Losing one parent is bad enough, but losing them both on the same day has been both devastating and heartbreaking. We have peace in knowing that since they were always together in life, they could not be apart in death as well," Juan Jr. wrote.
"He couldn't live without her, so, he just let go. It's like an epic love story, that they went together in the same day. They were the best parents," Velazquez told NBC12.
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