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My father was shy of his 70th birthday. He fell ill on March 14th and soon after became gravely ill and was hospitalized on March 20th. For an entire month, the doctors worked fiercely to save his life. After his tracheotomy his health took a turn for the worse. He battled an infection, low blood pressure, and was suffering from ARDS. It was a roller coaster everyday with good and bad reports, so bad we were deciding his last moments at times. On April 20th, my father’s health deteriorated. We made the decision as a family to not continue more medications since is body was no longer receiving it. We were told his body couldn’t sustain resuscitation and would just bring more pain. As hard as it was, we had to say goodbye. The most heartbreaking of all was not able to be with him in his last moments of life. Over a video screen we had to tell him our goodbyes. We couldn’t hold his hand or whisper in his ear and let him know what an amazing father he was to his 4 children and a beloved husband to our mother. We each shared what he meant to us and how much we loved him. We played his favorite songs as he slowly drifted away. We saw my father take his last breath on April 20th. His name was Estanislao Rodriguez, a Mexican immigrant who was grateful to become an American and sacrificed everything for his family. We love you dad.

 Mariana Navejas, Texas

man holding a saw