Sergio Humberto Padilla Hernandez prepared his final farewell to his family, holding on to the hope that he could still recover.
“I’ll have a rest, God willing. We will go forward, ”he said in the video. “Whatever happens, you will always be on the lookout for my best interests. I love you and you are in my heart. ”
The front worker died on November 6, hours after being intubated at the hospital where he worked in Cuauhtémoc, Mexico, his family said. He was only 28 years old.
Almost the entire family has contracted the virus this year, he said. Padilla Hernandez’s mother was hospitalized for a while and his father has oxygen at home, his cousin said. Dolores’ twin sister and daughter also fell ill.
So far, Padilla Hernandez’s wife Denise Hernandez and her 5-year-old son Sergio Hernandez III have remained healthy. But now they have to face a life without a husband and a father.
He risked his life to help others
Padilla Hernandez worked as a nurse at Hospital Angeles Cuauhtémoc. His cousin said he was driven by a life of service and that that helped help people.
Still, Padilla Hernandez stayed away from the hospital for months when his mother and twin sisters contracted the virus in July. His family needed him, and he couldn’t work because of the exposure, so he took care of his family.
When he returned to the hospital in mid-September, his cousin said he did it to fight the virus he saw ravaging his family.
“He got back to work and continued to work on the front lines helping people with Covid at the hospital where his sister had died and his mother was sick. Then he commissioned Covid himself, “said Adalberto Hernandez.
Padilla Hernandez tested positive for Covid-19 on October 22, his family said. He stayed home when he recovered.
But on November 5th it became too difficult to breathe. He knew he needed oxygen so he went to the hospital, said Adalberto Hernandez.
“At this point, all tests showed that he had lost 90% of his lung function,” said Adalberto Hernandez. “The sad part was that the doctors felt … very confident about his chances because he had no previous health problems, he was young, healthy.”
That night, Padilla Hernandez filmed the heartbreaking video of himself to be sent to his family.
“Now that we see it again, it almost served as a goodbye,” said Adalberto Hernandez.
“It’s like we’ve lost a brother.”
Adalberto Hernandez recalls spending time with Padilla Hernandez, his twin sisters, and their older sister at his family home in Fresno County, California.
“When we grew up, we spent a lot of time together as children,” said Adalberto Hernandez. “He was 12 years younger than me, so I saw him when he was young. I was allowed to babysit his sisters. ”
When the Hernandez Padilla family returned to Mexico from California, they were still trying to make trips back to see the family.
Although the families were miles apart and a country apart, they stayed close. Adalberto Hernandez, a 40-year-old elementary school principal from Medera, California, said he and his cousin stayed in touch online over the years.
Hernandez Padilla loved martial arts, and he and Adalberto Hernandez watched boxing together. He also enjoyed traveling, working as a nurse, and most importantly as a family.
“He dedicated his life to serving and helping others, but beyond that he was a son and a father. He had nothing but the greatest hopes and dreams for his son, ”said Adalberto Hernandez.
His cousin, he said, even looked like him and his siblings and shared a family resemblance.
“It’s just so tragic for us,” he said. “It’s like we’ve lost a brother.”
The family struggles with medical bills
The close-knit Padilla Hernandez family owned a furniture store in Chihuahua, Mexico and had a good life of their own, Adalberto Hernandez said.
Now the family has nearly $ 50,000 in medical debt between Hernandez and his sister’s death and their mother’s hospitalization prior to recovery, Hernandez said.
“They had a pretty good life and a furniture store to sell everything,” said Adalberto Hernandez. “It was all about helping people, and now their whole world has been turned upside down.”
“Now he’s gone, his sister is gone. There is a less good person who helps people in need, because that’s what he was looking for, ”he said.
The California family set up a GoFundMe page to help the family survive this time of need. They also want to open a savings account for Padilla Hernandez’s son Sergio III.
Padilla Hernandez gave his life helping others and his cousin hopes people will take the coronavirus more seriously, Adalberto Hernandez said.
“Watching this video breaks your heart and makes you appreciate life but also feel why?” He said. “Why this family? Why he? He just lost his sister. ”
“Mother, that’s such a fresh wound to lose a child and now you have to watch another child die,” he said. “It’s just unthinkable.”
CNN’s Claudia Morales contributed to this report.
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