KEY POINTS

  • The couple was admitted to the hospital after experiencing breathing difficulties
  • The couple's children are scheduled to be vaccinated against COVID-19
  • The U.S. surpassed more than 1,000 COVID deaths Tuesday

Four children were left orphaned after their parents, who were anti-vaxxers, died of COVID-19 complications just two weeks apart. 

Lawrence Rodriguez, 49, and Lydia Rodriguez, 42, tested positive after they came back from a week-long church camp. The couple, married for 21 years, was admitted to an intensive care unit in Texas after Lawrence drove his wife to the hospital on July 12 after she experienced breathing difficulties. 

Lawrence, who had appeared to be recovering from the virus, was rushed to the ICU after he also experienced shortness of breath. He died on Aug. 2 after being put on the ventilator. 

Lydia, who was fully dependent on an oxygen mask at the time of her husband’s death, begged her cousin, Dottie Jones, who is a neonatal nurse, to get their kids vaccinated against the virus. She died on Aug.16. 

“Lydia has never really believed in vaccines,” Jones told The Washington Post. “She believed that she could handle everything on her own, that you didn’t really need medicine.”

According to the report, the couple was among the tens of millions of Americans who have not yet received at least one dose of the vaccine, which is available free to anyone over age 12.

Jones has scheduled the couple’s 18-year-old twins and 16-year-old son to get vaccinated. Their 11-year-old daughter will also be scheduled for a shot as soon as she is eligible to receive it. 

The couple’s COVID-19 situation was similar to that of other anti-vaxxers who begged their doctors to give them doses of vaccine as they struggled to stay alive after being infected. 

Dr. Brytney Cobia, a physician at Grandview Medical Center in Birmingham, in mid-July took to Facebook to share her accounts of treating critical COVID-19 patients. 

“I’m admitting young healthy people to the hospital with very serious COVID infections. One of the last things they do before they're intubated is beg me for the vaccine. I hold their hand and tell them that I'm sorry, but it's too late. A few days later when I call time of death, I hug their family members and I tell them the best way to honor their loved one is to go get vaccinated and encourage everyone they know to do the same,” she wrote. 

The United States reported 141,893 new infections Tuesday, bringing the country’s seven-day average to 130,121, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

According to a Reuters tally, the U.S. also surpassed more than 1,000 new coronavirus-related deaths Tuesday as the highly contagious Delta continues to wreak havoc in parts of the country with low vaccination rates.

Hospitals in Louisiana are hammered amid a furious virus surge that has brought the state's daily average infections to 126 per 100,000 inhabitants Hospitals in Louisiana are hammered amid a furious virus surge that has brought the state's daily average infections to 126 per 100,000 inhabitants Photo: AFP / Emily Kask