Daniel Macias wanted to wait until he and his wife, Davy Macias, recovered from the coronavirus before naming their newborn daughter. But about a week after giving birth, the mother died of COVID-19 complications. And nearly two weeks after she died, so did her husband.
Davy Macias was 37, and Daniel Macias was 39, Terri Serey, Davy Macias' sister-in-law, told NBC News on Monday. The couple, both of Yucaipa, California, left behind five children, ages 7, 5, 3, 2 and 3 weeks.
“They were the kindest, most amazing people,” Serey said. “They were the ones who got everyone together — for every birthday, every holiday.”
The two are among more than 660,000 people in the U.S. who have died of the coronavirus. Davy Macias was unvaccinated because she was pregnant, Serey said, but it was unclear if Daniel was vaccinated.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urged all pregnant women to get the COVID vaccine in early August — about two weeks before Davy Macias' Aug. 26 death — as hospitals in U.S. hot spots saw a disturbing number of unvaccinated mothers-to-be seriously ill with the virus.
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The family all tested positive for the coronavirus after traveling in early August, according to Serey. But while their children recovered quickly, the parents' symptoms worsened. And shortly after returning from travel, they were both taken to the hospital and placed in the intensive care unit, less than a week apart — "a couple of rooms apart,” Serey said.
Davy Macias was 32 weeks pregnant and “optimistic” about her recovery when she was hospitalized in the first weekend of August, Serey said. But, she said, the expecting mother was intubated and never met her daughter when she gave birth via Cesarean section on Aug. 18. Daniel Macias only met his fifth child briefly before he was intubated about three days after her birth.
Their now 3-week-old daughter remains unnamed.
Davy Macias was a nurse at Kaiser Permanente Fontana Medical Center, and Daniel Macias was a teacher at Jehue Middle School in Colton, California, according to Serey. Because she worked overnight and he worked during the day, Serey said the children were the “center of their worlds.”
According to Serey, she didn’t know if Davy Macias regretted not taking the coronavirus vaccine sooner; she only knew that the couple thought they would recover quickly and introduce their fifth child to the rest of the family themselves.
“They never did,” Serey said.
Davy and Daniel Macias are survived by their five children, who are all being cared for by their grandparents.
Serey said she hasn’t spoken to the grandparents since Daniel Macias died. But, she added, after their mother died and their father remained in the ICU, the children “wondered where their parents were.”
This article was originally published on NBCNews.com.
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