HOUSTON — The critical care medical director at HCA Houston Hospital in Tomball, who served the sickest COVID-19 patients, has died of the disease himself.
Dr. Carlos Araujo-Preza, 51, died Monday night after he spent several weeks on a ventilator at Houston Methodist Hospital in the Texas Medical Center.
Araujo-Preza was pulled to the frontlines of the pandemic to care for the most ill of the patients in the spring.
The doctor was among those selected to conduct a national study on the effectiveness of using convalescent plasma on critically ill COVID-19 patients.
“He was always really safe, and they always gave him the best medical equipment,” Araujo-Preza’s daughter, Andrea Araujo said. “Just, he was working in the ICU COVID unit every single day, so it’s something that can’t be avoided, unfortunately.”
Andrea Araujo’s family has lost its patriarch.
“My dad will never see me graduate from my master’s program. He’ll never give me away at my wedding. He’ll never see his grandkids,” she said. “And that’s really hard.”
The death of Dr. Araujo-Preza is again a reminder that not even the greatest access to the best medical care can guarantee recovery from COVID-19.
“Just be a little bit safer so nobody goes through a tragedy like this,” Andrea Araujo said.
The hospital system for which Araujo-Preza worked gave the following statement:
“We are saddened by the passing of Dr. Carlos Araujo-Preza. His clinical excellence, compassionate care and kindness will be greatly missed. Dr. Carlos Araujo-Preza touched so many of our lives and will always be remembered for his profound commitment to his patients. Our thoughts and deepest sympathies go out to his family, friends and colleagues.”