Garay, 27, told CNN he wanted to share his family’s story so people knew the virus was real and it didn’t take long to catch it.
Family members who showed up positively include his parents, a 2-year-old and two other young children, two siblings and a pregnant bride, he said. A handful of family members are also fighting Covid-19.
His 60-year-old father died a day before Father’s Day.
“Let’s hope his death can help save people,” said the younger Garay. “I don’t want it to be statistical. If his story can save a life, it’s worth telling his story. It’s real. It doesn’t take long to be exposed.”
His last words to his father
When the father and son became infected with the virus, they decided to quarantine together at home in south-central Los Angeles to prevent it from spreading to other family members.
“We laughed at first because we spent it together,” said the son.
Then things started to go downhill. They started with a fever that got worse progressively, and both had trouble breathing and eating, Garay said. His father had a rare form of anemia that was not related to the virus and he began to have difficulty taking his medication.
“He was even trying to take his medicine. He could not eat. We had no appetite, “Garay said. “I would have to try and eat tablespoons and try to get my dad to eat it too.”
During their joint quarantine, they discussed their deaths and what their funerals looked like, Garay said.
The son’s condition is getting worse
A few days in quarantine, the younger Garay called 911 after waking up for air. Before paramedics took him to the hospital, his father sat down and asked if he was okay, he said.
“Dad, I don’t think I’ll make it,” Garay told him. These were his last words to his father.
Days later, his father was taken to a hospital in Los Angeles County, where he received a series of the worst and had to be put on a respirator. His son, meanwhile, was in a separate hospital struggling for his life and with oxygen most of the time – but not on a respirator.
His father died on June 20. The day he died, his mother visited the hospital and saw him through a window, Garay said.
Garay doesn’t know how family members got coronavirus – there was no party and no big gathering. It is believed that one person became infected and spread through minimal contact between different family members.