Valley man says he will get vaccine after wife’s death from COVID-19

Jul 23, 2021, 4:25 AM | Updated: 9:55 am
Fernanda Vega (GoFundMe Photo)...
Fernanda Vega (GoFundMe Photo)
(GoFundMe Photo)

PHOENIX — A Valley man said he will get vaccinated against COVID-19 and wants others to use his family’s story as a testimonial after his 47-year-old wife died earlier this month after contracting the virus.

Fernanda Vega of Tolleson died July 13 in the waiting room of a hospital after a blood clot formed in her lungs, 10 days after she tested positive for the virus.

Vega, her husband, Ysmael, and their four children had chosen to not receive the vaccine because they were worried about possible side effects.

Ysmael Vega said his wife’s death changed his mindset, especially as the Delta variant continues to make its mark across the U.S.

“I’m going to get the vaccine. What I experienced, I don’t want anyone else to experience this,” Ysmael Vega told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Gaydos and Chad on Thursday. “Everybody has their own choice, but COVID is real and what I went through, I don’t want to be back there again.”

Ysmael and two of his children also tested positive for COVID-19 and he’s still dealing with the illness as he mourns his late wife.

He described Fernanda as a “super grandma, super mom and super wife.”

“Having that type of sickness will change your mind,” Ysmael said. “I don’t want nobody to lose a loved one. It’s not a great feeling.”

Dr. Michael White, of Valleywise Health, said those hospitalized because of the virus are “predominantly those that have chosen not to be vaccinated for whatever reason.”

Valleywise doctors were mostly treating people with moderate symptoms, but things changed two weeks ago, White said. Now, patients are coming in acutely ill and unvaccinated.

At its main medical center in Phoenix, there are currently a dozen hospitalized, and most of them are in the ICU.

“I was blessed to have her in my life and her memory will live through all the hearts of her friends and family that she’s touched because she’s touched many lives,” Ysmael said.

A total of 912,653 cases and 18,137 deaths from COVID-19 have been reported in Arizona as of Thursday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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