HOUSTON - As our President and First Lady now battle COVID-19, it's highlighting a dynamic we've seen often since the start of the pandemic. COVID is affecting and infecting many couples.
September is usually a special month for Jose and Maria Perez because that's when they got married but now September 30, 2020 is the day he passed away.
After being married for 39 years this year on September 4, 2020 it was the first anniversary Jose and Maria spent the day apart.
You see, he was in the hospital on a ventilator. After battling COVID-19 since August, Wednesday Mr. Perez passed away leaving what his beautiful bride describes as a hole in her heart.
“It's broken. My heart is torn apart".
Mrs. Perez was also diagnosed with COVID-19.
“I had some coughing and one of the other major symptoms was loss of taste and smell” but her husband had his lungs, kidneys, and heart fail.
He also developed some sort of blood cancer as COVID-19 attacked his body. Previously Mr. Perez's only health problem was high blood pressure.
“I asked the doctors where did this cancer come from. They said they don't particularly know,” says the Perez's son Martin.
The Perez's are both long time employees of HISD. He was a maintenance worker. HISD has had positive COVID-19 cases at 12 schools.
"Eight of our union members have passed from Coronavirus. By prayer, they go into work hoping they don't catch Coronavirus but that's what they're up against. If you don't work you don't get paid,” says HESP Union President Wretha Thomas. There's no way to pinpoint where they contracted the virus.
Mrs. Perez says even after only two days without her husband she feels lost.
"After me and my siblings moved out. It was just them two. Everywhere they went, they went together,” says Martin who's the oldest. “My father was an amazing, hard-working man. He was the best mechanic I know. He could fix anything. He taught me how to be a mechanic and now that's what I do, that's what I love to do. It's my bread and butter. Anytime I would get stuck and I had a question I would call my father and he would help me through the problem. Now, who will I call?"