Texas Couple Who 'Didn't Trust' COVID Vaccine Die, Leave Behind 4 Children: 'This Virus Is Real'

·2 min read
Lydia and Lawrence Rodriguez
Lydia and Lawrence Rodriguez

gofundme

A Texas mother and father who "didn't trust" the COVID-19 vaccine have died of the disease, according to multiple reports and a GoFundMe campaign set up to support the four children they've left behind.

In July, Lawrence and Lydia Rodriquez were admitted into a University of Texas Medical Branch hospital, where they were both diagnosed with COVID-19, Lydia's cousin, Dottie Jones, detailed on the donation page.

Lydia was immediately placed on a ventilator while Lawrence was placed on oxygen, Jones explained. But Lawrence's condition quickly worsened, and soon he joined his wife on a ventilator in the ICU.

As Lydia remained in the ICU, Lawrence succumbed to complications of the disease on Aug. 2, and 14 days later on Aug. 16, Lydia followed, the campaign organizer wrote.

"Our hearts are broken," Jones said of Lydia's death on GoFundMe.

The couple shared four children, per the campaign and Galveston County's Daily News: 18-year-old twins Nathan and Ethan; son Adam, 16; and daughter Synphonia, 11.

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Jones told ABC news station KTRK that Lydia's final wish before being intubated was to get her children vaccinated against the virus.

"Before she got intubated, one of the last things she told her sister was 'Please make sure my children get vaccinated,'" she said. "She would be there for her kids right now if she had been vaccinated."

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Lydia and Lawrence did not get vaccinated because they distrusted vaccines due to misinformation, Jones said.

"You try to talk to them, and she just didn't like that," Jones told KTRK. "Didn't trust it, I guess."

"It just breaks my heart that people are believing the misinformation that's out there," she added. "The misinformation is killing people, and we need to get the truth out there," she told the news station.

According to a New York Times database, Texas has seen a 44 percent increase in COVID-19 cases over the last two weeks. The state is averaging about 15,577 cases a day.

"This is really happening in our family, and it is the true story of what can happen. I am not trying to scare people. I just want people to understand this virus is real, and this Delta variant is more brutal than anything we've seen," Jones told KTRK.

"Our hearts are just broken," she added. "We hurt for the kids."

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As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from the CDC, WHO and local public health departments. PEOPLE has partnered with GoFundMe to raise money for the COVID-19 Relief Fund, a GoFundMe.org fundraiser to support everything from frontline responders to families in need, as well as organizations helping communities. For more information or to donate, click here.