Garay, 27, told CNN he wants to share his family’s story so people know the virus is real, and it doesn’t take much to figure it out.
Family members who tested positive included his parents, a two-year-old and two other young children, two brothers and a pregnant sister, he said. Several extended family members are also battling Covid-19.
His 60-year-old father died the day before his father’s day.
“I hope his death can help save people,” the younger Garay said. “I don’t want him to be a statistician. If a story can save his life, it’s worth telling his story. It really is. It doesn’t take us long to expose ourselves.”
Last words to my father
When the father and son contracted the virus, they decided to quarantine together at home in south central Los Angeles so as not to spread to other family members.
“At first we laughed because we went through it together,” the son said.
Then things went downhill. They started with a fever that gradually worsened, they both had trouble breathing and eating, Garay said. His father had a rare form of anemia unrelated to the virus, and he began to have trouble taking medication.
“He even struggled to drink his medication. He couldn’t eat. We had no appetite,” Garay said. “I would force myself to try to eat a tablespoon of soup and I would try to force my father to eat it.”
During the joint quarantine to pass the time, they talked about dying and how they would like their funerals to look like, Garay said.
The son’s condition is getting worse
A few days in quarantine, the younger Garay called 911 after waking up inspired by the air. Before the doctors took him to the hospital, the father sat down and asked if he was okay, he said.
“Dad, I don’t think I’m going to make it,” Garay told him. Those were his father’s last words.
Days later, his father was taken to a hospital in Los Angeles County, where he turned for worse and had to put him on a ventilator. Meanwhile, his son fought for his life most of the time and oxygen most of the time – but not on the fan.
His father died on June 20th. The day he died, his mother visited the hospital and saw him through the window, Garay said.
Garay doesn’t know how family members got the coronavirus – there was no fun and no big gathering. They believe that one person became infected and this spread through minimal contacts among various family members.