Five children, including a newborn, have been orphaned in California after their parents died of COVID-19 two weeks apart.
Davy Macias, 37, who was a nurse at Kaiser Permanente Fontana Medical Center, contracted the virus when she was seven months pregnant, explained a Go Fund Me set up for the family by Vong Serey, Davy's older brother. Daniel Macias, 39, a middle school teacher, was hospitalized not long after, Serey wrote in her post. Both husband and wife, who had been married for 11 years, according to the Washington Post, were intubated in late August.
Parents-Die-Of-COVID-and-Leave-5-Kids-Behind-GettyImages-1298361493 on September 10.
Serey began posting updates about the couple after both husband and wife were hospitalized. "They are being very closely monitored at this time but they are still fighting," an August 25 update read. "We still need to lift them up in prayer and continue to stay strong and positive for them."
Serey shared on August 26 that Davy had died. Four days later, she wrote that Daniel was "still in critical condition but he is fighting to stay here with his babies," before thanking people for their donations. "Please continue to send positive thoughts, energy and prayer to Daniel so that he can wake up and name his baby girl," Sevey continued.
A September 1 update said that Daniel was "still fighting," noting that, "current X-rays show his lungs are slowly healing and his kidneys are cooperating again." A September 6 post said that "the kids are in good spirits, not understanding the gravity of what is happening. Daniel no longer has COVID but the damage has been done. He needs time for his lungs to heal without any other setbacks. It will take time so please continue to pray and send positive thoughts his way."
On September 10, Serey announced that Daniel had died. "There aren't words to explain the loss of both him and Davy," she wrote. "Keep the kids in your thoughts and prayers. They gained two angels but still have a long road ahead of them." Another update showed a car full of donations for the children. "I cannot thank everyone enough for their support, kind words, donations of food, clothes and baby supplies, as well as monetary donations," the update reads. To date, the Go Fund Me has raised $207,953.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) currently recommends that all Americans over the age of 12 get vaccinated against COVID-19. The vaccine is also recommended for women who are pregnant, breastfeeding, or trying to conceive, the CDC says.
Richard Watkins, MD, an infectious disease physician and professor of internal medicine at the Northeast Ohio Medical University, tells Health that this tragic story is a reminder of why vaccination is so important, particularly for parents. "Parents need to get the vaccine to decrease the risk of becoming seriously ill and dying of COVID," he says.
Before his death, Daniel sent a text message to his wife's sister, Vandana Serey. "He was trying to breathe and said if anyone is not vaccinated, I suggest you do now," she told ABC 7 in an August 30 report.
According to ABC 7, the Macias are believed to have contracted COVID-19 while on vacation. The children are being cared for by Daniel's parents, the Washington Post reported.
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