This week we here at Local 4 are paying tribute to people who died from COVID-19. A family in Silvis feels that pain and hopes their experience convinces people to take the pandemic seriously.
At least 1,000 people in the greater Quad Cities area died from the pandemic.
It’s a pain that no daughter wants to feel.
“This was a big shock to all of us,” Alicia Lara-Sepeda said.
It’s a loss a wife will never forget.
“My all. He was my all. We were married 51 years and it didn’t even seem like it,” Monica Lara said about her late husband Juan Lara.
In late October, many members of Alicia Lara-Sepeda’s family caught COVID including herself and her parents Monica and Juan Lara. Both were hospitalized. Monica recovered and was sent home
with a crowd to cheer her on. Alicia also recovered.
Unfortunately, Juan Lara’s kidneys failed and the family had to make a tough decision.
“I had to tell my mom that, I don’t think he is coming home. I just have a feeling that it’s not going to happen,” she said.
They took him off life support on November 30 he died that day surrounded by family.
“We told him that it was okay. He can rest now, and that we’re not mad,” Lara-Sepeda said. “He fought. He fought as hard as he could.”
His family describes him as hard working, caring and someone everyone could count on.
He was there for anybody. He’s seen people out on the street with car problems. He’d stop what he was doing to go see if he could help them and most of the time, he got them going again,” Monica Lara said.
They said their faith and belief that he’s in a better place helps them cope.
“That’s our legacy. Praying for him, talking about him,” Lara said.
As for alicia, she carries her dad with her wherever she goes with a new tattoo.
“I wake up everyday and I see him,” she said.
Overall, the family wants people to take the pandemic seriously to save the lives of those both young and old.