CHICAGO—Joyful video news clips showed hospital staff cheering patients on the way out after recovering from the coronavirus. But Covid-19 patient Luis Tiparus Sr. wasn’t cheered, despite doctors finding that it was safe to free him from ventilators April 24. He had been confined for two weeks at St. Francis Hospital in Evanston, a suburb just north of this city.
Instead, Luis would hear the devastating news that his wife, Josephine, 56, had died in the same hospital on April 18 while his youngest son, Luis Jr., 20, had died at home, alone, in Chicago’s north side on April 14. Both had been infected with Covid-19. Luis learned of their passing from his Canada-based 28-year-old son, Justin, via Facetime
Josephine, a nurse, was said to have contracted the deadly virus late March at one of the two nursing homes that she worked for. She was rushed unconscious to the hospital where she was put on an induced coma on April 4.
Father and son, Luis Jr. soon tested positive for the virus. Luis Sr. was confined on April 10 while his son was told to quarantine at home. Justin regularly checked on his brother but became concerned when the latter failed to answer his call on April 13.
He requested a wellbeing check from the police, who then found Luis Jr. on April 14, lifeless on a sofa in the family living room. The 260-lb. Luis Jr. was said to suffer from asthma and obesity, making him vulnerable to the Covid-19. He was a communication student at the Harold Washington Community College in this city.
Luis Sr., a factory worker and part-time caregiver, is presently recovering at a rehab center. He and his wife along with then seven-year-old Luis Jr . in 2007 left Quebec, Canada where they initially migrated from the Philippines and moved to Chicago for a better nursing job for Josephine.
Friends of the Tiparu family in Canada have started a GoFundMe drive to raise $20,000. As of April 25, up to 336 donors had given $40,158. Funeral arrangements for mother and son are pending.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.