The sad story how a father and his son who are doctors died in Florida after contracting COVID-19 has been told. It was gathered tha they have been treating coronavirus patients before the sad tragedy.
According to Dailymail, Dr. Carlos Francisco Vallejo, 57, is believed to have been infected by one of his patients and five family members ended up sick with coronavirus including his wife and father Dr. Jorge A. Vallejo.
Dr. Jorge, 89, was widowed in 2005 and Dr. Carlos – an internist working on the frontlines with up to 76 patients including residents at three nursing homes – often provided his care.
Both Hialeah residents were admitted to hospital on June 27 but Jorge – a retired obstetrician and gynecologist – passed away six days later at Palmetto General Hospital, where Dr. Carlos was a board director.
Carlos – who was a father-of-three – lost his battle with the virus on August 1 after 42 days in intensive care at the Cleveland Clinic Florida in Weston.
‘We just lost basically both of our anchors of our whole entire family,’ CBS4 News reporter Jessica Vallejo told the Miami Herald. ‘In my eyes, [my grandfather] was the American Dream.’
Dr. Carlos was her uncle and Dr. Jorge was her grandfather. Dr. Jorge – who fled Cuba for Florida with his wife and children – delivered eight of his nine grandchildren.
He delivered the late Cuban salsa icon Celia Cruz and was also famed locally for delivering what was once the smallest baby in the US 28 years ago, at less than one pound in weight.
‘It made me feel near to God,’ Dr. Jorge told the Miami Herald in 1992, about delivering Baby Zascha.
Dr. Carlos’ children also called him a hero, saying he took all the precautions amid the pandemic and would use his personal time to make sure patients had everything they needed.
‘He really was a hero to so many people. I didn’t even want him to go to the nursing home and the hospitals because I was terrified,’ his 31-year-old daughter, Gisselle Vallejo, told the Herald.
‘He wanted to be loyal. It was like he was available for them 24/7. He really was the true definition of a hero. I knew that when COVID started, that he was going to be a hero.’
‘He was just my role model. I could talk to him every day for hours,’ his 23-year-old Kevin Vallejo said. ‘He was such a giving doctor that if his patients were going through a hard time… he would see them for free and tell them not to worry about it.’
Kevin was set to begin medical school on Monday but delayed his studies at Florida International University due to his father’s passing.
Carlos’ 26-year-old son Charlie said his dad took the internal medicine career path despite being offered a scholarship in the Caribbean.
‘My dad was a great athlete … he actually turned down a [sports] scholarship to study medicine in the Dominican Republic,’ Charlie said.
He added about his father’s great work on the frontlines: ‘A lot of these patients are scared and alone. A lot of families are not able to say their final goodbyes and it’s a tragedy.’
There are 20 doctors, dentists and medical students in their family.
CBS4 reporter Jessica said her family is the ‘perfect example of what doctors should be … doctors who dedicate their lives to their patients.’
Charlie told the station: ‘Just like firefighters put their life on the line, we do the same going into hospitals. It’s whatever you can do to heal and save your patients.’
Carlos’ psychiatrist wife is hoping her sons follow in his footsteps.
‘I’m going to ask God for strength so my sons can finish medical school and follow in their father’s footsteps. I think that’s what he’d want me to do,’ coronavirus survivor Lisette Vallejo, 57, told CBS4.