WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- Mayor Robert Garcia of Long Beach, California has lost both his mother and stepfather to COVID-19 just weeks apart.
- Garcia shared on Twitter in July that his mother and stepfather had been hospitalized and placed on ventilators.
- It’s unclear if either Gabriella or Greg had any pre-existing medical conditions before they got the coronavirus.
Mayor Robert Garcia of Long Beach, California has lost both his mother and stepfather to COVID-19 just weeks apart.
The mayor’s mother, Gabriella O’Donnell, died on July 26 while his stepfather, Greg O’Donnell, also died of complications from the virus two weeks later.
Garcia shared on Twitter in July that his 61-year-old mother and stepfather, 58, both of whom had tested positive for the virus, had been hospitalized and placed on ventilators.
The couple had been married for 27 years.
On Monday, Garcia shared his grief over his stepfather’s death on Twitter and described him as “a kind and good-hearted man, an amazing father and grandfather, and the best husband our mom could have ever hoped for.” He also thanked the health care providers.
Garcia also wrote, “My brother posted the following and I completely agree: ‘As my family is just broken with the loss of my parents—I find comfort in knowing that they are together again—free of any pain or suffering.'”
The mayor paid a similar tribute to his late mother in a series of tweets last month. She described her as “the kindest and most compassionate person we’ve ever known.”
“She will always be our guiding light and the center of our lives. My brother and I want to thank the incredible team at Long Beach Memorial for taking care of our mom during her last days.
Garcia shared that his mother immigrated from Peru to the US in search of the American Dream and later found it when she became a healthcare worker, “caring for thousands of patients over her career and assisting nurses and doctors who she loved dearly.”
It’s unclear if either Gabriella or Greg had any pre-existing medical conditions before they got the coronavirus. People ages 65 and older are at a higher risk of severe symptoms from COVID-19, as are people with underlying medical conditions, including heart conditions, obesity, diabetes, liver disease and chronic kidney disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Sen. Kamala Harris of California honored both of Garcia’s parents, by tweeting: “My dear friend, my heart aches for you and your family. Your beloved mother led an extraordinary life and her compassion touched countless Californians. Mothers are irreplaceable but I know yours will continue to be a guiding force throughout your life,” she added.
Harris once again consoled the California mayor when his stepfather passed. She wrote, “My friend, my heart breaks for you and your entire family after another devastating loss. May your stepfather and your mother be your guiding light in the years to come.”