GALVESTON COUNTY, Texas — Wednesday would have been her 43rd birthday, but instead, Lydia Rodriguez's family members said they are working on funeral arrangements for the mother of four who, along with her husband of 21 years, died from COVID-19.
Lydia Rodriguez ended up in a League City hospital about a month ago when she was having difficulty breathing. While she was there, her husband, 49-year-old Lawrence Rodriguez, was admitted, too.
"They had been feeling not well for a few days, but not really that sick, just not feeling that great. Then for a couple of weeks, they were at home not feeling well. ... They really didn’t tell anybody," Lydia's cousin Dottie Jones said. "Somehow he got admitted, too. He was doing poorly enough they felt the need to admit him, too."
Within a few weeks, they both died, leaving their children and loved ones with one message: get the vaccine.
Family members said the couple asked to get the vaccine while they were at the hospital, but doctors told them they were too late.
"Lawrence and her both wanted to get vaccinated when they were in the hospital, but the doctor told them it was too late," Jones said.
On Aug. 2, Lawrence died. Two weeks later, Lydia passed away.
"Not long before she was intubated she told Nelda (Lydia's sister) to please make sure the kids get vaccinated," Jones said.
Family members said they hope others can learn from their pain. They said they think people should get vaccinated if they choose to do it.
"I just want them to make that choice with accurate information facts and not misinformation that is so readily available everywhere," Jones said.
The pain will be felt by the four children of Lydia and Lawrence Rodriguez forever.
"To lose both of your parents in such a preventable way ... that is just a tragedy to me," Jones said.
Family members said two of Rodriguez's children will get the vaccine. They also set up a GoFundMe account to help cover expenses.