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“She loved the way it tasted,” Unzueta said. “She always had a way to explain how food was so delicious.”
When COVID-19 hit in the spring, Unzueta said the family took immediate precautions, with the 75-year-old Castillo sheltering in place at her Hammond home.
Castillo required kidney dialysis treatments, so the only place she was going other than her home was a dialysis center, Unzueta said.
“We were doing all the shopping for her,” said Unzueta, noting that even then, the family was careful not to gather together.
Even with those precautions, however, 10 people in her family, including Castillo, contracted the virus, Unzueta said.
The symptoms became severe enough that Castillo was admitted to the hospital on Oct. 1.
Castillo struggled with the virus for month, eventually being placed on life support.
The woman who had escaped poverty to find a new life of adventure in the United States died from COVID-19 on Oct. 30. Her death came two months after the death of her loving husband to a rare disease.
It’s a tragedy that has taken a toll on the whole family, and Unzueta noted she is considering therapy to get through it.
The sadness is exacerbated when Unzueta sees social media comments from people who make light of COVID-19 or mock its severity.
“I’ve read hurtful comments or seen laughing reactions every time something is posted about COVID-related deaths,” Unzueta said in a recent email. “It is hurtful to see all of the hate and laughs in the comment sections and other platforms.
“This was my last living grandparent.”
Contributed by The Times of Northwest Indiana
Marc Chase Dale Bock