Woman shares story after entire family tests positive for COVID and the loss of her father

Vanessa Avellaneda, her husband, their four children, her mother, her father and her cousin all tested positive for COVID-19 in November 2020.

She said they took all the precautions and were extremely careful. They still don’t know how they got it.

Avellaneda family photo.

"We got our groceries delivered, we didn’t go out, didn’t interact with people outside our home. So this was a shock to all of us, to say the least," said Avellaneda.

Everyone in the family recovered, except for her father, 58-year-old Jose Avellaneda.

Jose Avellaneda (Family photo)

"My dad was healthy, he was active he was an avid falconer, he had no underlying health issues, he ate healthy, he was active, he was everything you look to be when you’re that age, and it affected him that it shouldn’t have, according to who is high risk and who is not," said Avellaneda.

Jose Avellaneda (Family photo)

The family is still in shock. The household is devastated.

"I think that’s one of the hardest parts, hearings your two-year-old walk around and say 'papa, papa where are you?' and he’s not here," said Avellaneda.

(Family photo)

The mother of four said people will remember her father’s kindness and big smile.

"Always with a smile on his face, always willing to help anybody, actively involved in church, always there for our community," said Avellaneda.

She said it is frustrating to see people who are still not taking the pandemic seriously.

"Seeing so many people online- where can I eat dinner? Where can I get my nails done? This isn’t a time to be worrying about that. I just want everybody to take it seriously, this is not something I want anybody to feel. This has impacted us more than anybody can imagine, my dad being the sole provider for my mom and my cousin, this goes beyond politics, this is no longer politics, this is people’s health and their lives. Money can always be made just please adhere to the guidelines, it’s not worth losing a family member," said Avellaneda.

Vanessa said her father always did what he could to help others, even in his death he would want his story to help save a life.

Avellaneda family photo.

"The key thing is to make sure you are taking the vitamins, 1,000 milligrams of vitamin C, 220 milligrams zinc sulfate, 1,000 milligrams of vitamin D twice a day and the most important thing they told us to have a pulse oximeter. This can save your life, it can save your family’s life if they have covid, make sure you get one of these," said Avellaneda.

Vanessa says you need to stay ahead of your oxygen level, before it is too late. You don’t know it is in the danger zone until it drops dangerously low. You can pick up an oximeter at CVS or order one on Amazon.

Photo of an oximeter.

The family has set up a GoFundMe to help with funeral costs. Click here to donate.

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