PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP/Gray News) – A 23-year-old is not going home to his family, including his newborn baby girl, after losing his long battle with COVID-19 on Sunday.
WJHG reported that his family doesn’t want him remembered as just another person lost to the virus.
With the recent uptick in COVID-19 hospitalizations, it’s clear it can infect anyone, at any time, in any way.
“It’s heartbreaking. It’s heartbreaking,” Stephanie Gibson said.
Heartbreak. That’s what Gibson feels over the death of her brother, Miguel Gonzalez, who lost his battle to COVID-19.
“He liked the be a jokester and joke around with everybody,” said Gibson.
Gonzalez was also described as healthy with no underlying medical conditions when he got COVID-19 a few weeks ago. Symptoms started with diarrhea and vomiting.
“When he went to the doctor the first time, they told him it was the stomach flu. They didn’t COVID test him or anything because of those symptoms,” said Gibson.
But his symptoms did not get better.
When he went back to the doctor, “They told him he had an upper respiratory infection, pneumonia,” said Gibson.
That’s when they tested him for COVID-19.
A week later, Gonzalez was admitted to the ICU at Gulf Coast Regional.
“It was really bad,” said Gibson.
By that night, he was on a ventilator. He would be hooked up for the next 13 days.
“He wasn’t doing good. His fevers were high. They were 104 and 105. They couldn’t get his fever down,” said Gibson.
Miguel died last Sunday. His family released balloons Thursday to honor him.
The family’s message: This can happen to anyone.
“Being in their ICU, I saw it. It’s not just the older folks. It’s taking a lot of younger folks as well,” said Gibson.
And she wants people to realize everybody has different symptoms.
“Take the precautions. Don’t let it get bad until, unfortunately, you go to the ER, they can no longer help you,” said Gibson.
She said she hopes people take the right precautions so they don’t have to feel the same heartbreak.
Just two days before he died, Gonzalez’s fiance had an emergency C-section for their second daughter.
Gibson believes her brother fought until the baby could be safely delivered.
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