TAMPA, Fla. — Packed into a Tampa hotel room well over 100 miles from home, the Diaz family is praying for the best possible outcome.

What You Need To Know

  • Family patriarch Raul Diaz is waiting for a double lung transplant 
  • Grandparents and uncle died recently from COVID-19
  • More Coronavirus headlines

Family patriarch Raul Diaz was transferred to Tampa General Hospital and is waiting for a double lung transplant. He’s been in and out of the hospital for weeks battling the effects of COVID-19. Now, he’s sedated and hooked up to an ECMO machine. 

“It’s really tough not being able to have him in our presence, and you never really understand or feel or know how much someone means to you until that presence isn’t there,” said Raul’s son, Luis.

It’s been an unimaginable year for the Diaz family. In March, COVID-19 hit the family home hard. In April, Luis’ grandparents and uncle succumbed to the virus in a span of three weeks. Now, his father is fighting for his life more than two months after his COVID-19 diagnosis. 

“You bury one and the next thing you know you’re mourning and crying because another one just passed as well,” Luis said. 

The family traveled from their Immokalee home to Tampa to be near Raul as he recovers at Tampa General Hospital. Luis says he hopes that his family’s story is a reminder to others to take the virus seriously. 

“I’m still superstitious about this vaccination. But I went and did it for that lady right there,” he said pointing to his mom. “I know the pain she’s going through and it gave her some kind of hope and comfort. All of this is just a trial run and new to all of us, but what is not new is the lives that are being lost because of this.” 

The family has set up a GoFundMe page to help with medical expenses. You can find that link here.

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