MESA, Arizona – Arizona set an all-time record in COVID-19 on Thursday. As of Wednesday, the Arizona Department of Health reported 9,913 new cases and 297 additional deaths.
These numbers represent real people and families in Arizona, including the Lechuga family in Mesa.
Rogelio Lechuga, nicknamed “Ro”, died of COVID-19 on October 26. He was 44 years old.
His wife, Susan, said Rogelio was a family man. Born in Mexico, he moved here as a young man and worked hard to provide for his wife and three children.
“He went to school while working 80 hours a week so he could take care of us,”
Susan and Rogelio were married when they were 19 years old. She said he was their light.
“Rogelio could make you laugh, and he was just my whole world, he made me what I am today,” Susan said.
Susan said the family was careful to follow COVID’s guidelines when Rogelio fell ill in late October. Susan believes she received COVID from a colleague. Rogelio, who already had pre-existing conditions, died a few days later.
“I would give my home, I would give my car, I would give all the money I have in the bank to get my husband back to me. I want people to understand that COVID is real.”
A record number of hospitalizations and 7-day averages for cases and deaths were reported in Arizona on Thursday.
“We need to love each other as a country, as a country. Instead of being so selfish, just do what we need to do to reduce those numbers,” Susan said.
Susan hopes that other families should not suffer as they are, and she is determined to continue to do her part to stop the spread.
“I could say, forget about it, I did everything right and look where it got me. But no, I’m still disguising myself, I’m still disinfecting, I’m still a social distance.”
Susan and her children recently moved to California to be closer to the family.
A GoFundMe family fundraising page has been created.