Lydia Rodriguez, a Texas mother of four, passed away this week at the age off 44 due to complications from Covid-19. Rodriguez believed that her body was strong enough to fight the coronavirus without having to get the vaccine, before testing positive after a week-long church camp wither her family. Her husband, Lawrence Rodriguez, 49, had died just a few weeks before her.
Rodriguez’s cousin, Dottie Jones, told The Washington Post that the couple had fought the virus under ventilators in the La Marque hospital’s intensive care unit from beds mere feet from one another.
Lydia and her husband, Lawrence, had yet to receive the first dose of the vaccine before testing positive for Covid-19, and their family remained “very concerned” about the couple until the very end.
Her doctor told her that it was too late to receive the shot by the time that she arrived at the hospital, changing her anti-vaccine beliefs just a little too late before she had to be connected to a ventilator.
The Covid-19 vaccine, which is free in the United States, is currently available to anyone over the age of 12. Doctors, politicians, and health officials have stressed that everyone in the country should get vaccinated, as it is highly effective at lowering the chance of becoming ill or dying of the virus.
All four of Lydia and Lawrence’s children have not been vaccinated either, though one is still not of age. Luckily, the children were asymptomatic after coming home from the church camp. After their father passed and their mother was unable to speak under an oxygen mask, the children came and reportedly sang hymns to lift their mother’s spirits.
Studies have recently shown that there has been an increase in vaccinations for younger people who have lost their loved ones to Covid-19, especially in Alabama where rates have been rising. The Rodriguez’s children are expected to get the shot very soon.
According to Lydia Rodriguez’s cousin, Dottie Jones, Lydia made her promise to get her kids vaccinated during their last phone call together. “She would be there for her kids right now if she had been vaccinated,” Jones later told KTRK Eyewitness News.
Jones, a 55-year-old neonatal nurse, said that “Lydia has never really believed in vaccines,” and that she “believed that she could handle everything on her own, that you didn’t really need medicine.”
“I knew she would never get vaccinated,” she told The Washington Post of her cousin Lydia Rodriguez, despite telling her cousin story after story of watching patients at the hospital she worked at have to be connected to ventilators before passing away.
“It just breaks my heart that people are believing the misinformation that’s out there,” said Jones. “The misinformation is killing people, and we need to get the truth out there.”
“I am not trying to scare people. I just want people to understand this virus is real, and this delta variant is more brutal that anything we’ve seen,” explained Jones. “Our hearts are just broken. We hurt for the kids.”
Recently, 27 passengers on a Carnival Cruise ship tested positive for Covid-19, despite being vaccinated. The ship quickly docked after, and is now under observation by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention so as to not spread the effects of the delta variant onto other passengers.
A GoFundMe page was created by Jones for “Rodriguez Family Covid Emergency Assistance” that has raised over $50,000 as of Wednesday, Aug 18. “We want the children to be able to remain in their family home,” she wrote. “Please help if you can.”