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Phoenix family loses both parents to COVID-19 on the same day

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Posted at 2:08 PM, Nov 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-16 16:05:20-05

A Phoenix-area family tragically lost both of their parents to COVID-19 on the same day.

Veronica and Victor Esparza had been married for more than 28 years.

Earlier this year, both began exhibiting symptoms of the virus around the same time. Both had a cough and loss of taste.

Eventually, their conditions worsened, and Veronica and Victor went to the hospital.

"The doctors told me it's gotten really bad," said their daughter, Vanessa Esparza.

Veronica and Victor Esparza died in the hospital just six hours apart. Their daughter said her dad didn't know how to live without her mom.

"They were the true definition of love and loyalty," Vanessa Esparza said.

Esparza said her family wasn't vaccinated, but she and her brother got their shots after their parents got sick.

She said the family took COVID-19 seriously but hadn't decided if or when they would get the vaccine until it was too late.

"I mean, we believed in it. We always believed in it, especially my dad," Vanessa Esparza said. "We always were cautious, (wearing) masks everywhere and stuff like that. But I mean, we never took action into getting vaccinated."

Vanessa Esparza says she regrets not getting the shot sooner.

"We were so indecisive. We kept on pushing it, 'We'll go tomorrow; we'll go next week,' you know? And it's something that could have been avoided, them winding up in the hospital, maybe," Vanessa Esparza said.

In Arizona, about 60% of those eligible to get a shot are vaccinated. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 68% of the U.S. population has been vaccinated.

Meanwhile, there's been a surge in cases and hospitalizations in Arizona. The CDC also reports that cases nationwide have been on the rise this month.

Vanessa Esparza is urging people who still haven't been vaccinated to get their shots.

"I wouldn't want anyone to be in the position I'm in," she said. "You don't do anything about it until you're in that position. It shouldn't have to get to that point."

The family is currently accepting donations to help pay for the funerals of Victor and Veronica Esparza. For more information, click here.

This story was originally published by Patrick Hayes on Scripps station KNXV in Phoenix.