A family was obliterated by coronavirus after it killed three of them over the course of three distressing weekends, Metro.co.uk reports.
Husband and wife Mario and Esperanza Mayorga, both 72, and their son Mario Jr, 42, all died of Covid-19 in North Carolina, grieving relative Marcela Lastre, 33, said.
Mario Jr was diagnosed first, in mid-March, with his parents testing positive shortly afterwards.
The dad died first on April 10, with Esperanza succumbing to Covid-19 on April 19, and Mario Jr killed by the disease on April 26.
Mario Sr and Esperanza’s daughter Violeta, 45, was also diagnosed with coronavirus, but is now recovering from the illness.
Marcela, who was the elderly couple’s niece, told ABC News: ‘Ever since we got the stay-at-home order, every weekend we got bad news. It was about three to five days from one person showing symptoms to the next one. We thought they would all show symptoms at the same time.’
Cleaner Mario Jr – whose company sanitized medical offices – came down with a cough and fever in mid-March, and was ordered to self-isolate. Marcela chatted with her cousin via a video call, and said he looked like he was suffering from ‘a bad flu.’
Days later, Mario Jr’s condition declined to the point where he needed hospital treatment. He underwent bypass surgery and was put on a ventilator.
Retired funeral home worker Mario Sr was so badly stressed by his son’s condition he stopped eating, with he and his wife testing positive for Covid-19 after falling ill themselves days later.
Marcela explained: ‘He locked himself in his room and kept wondering what if something bad happens to (his son)? He wasn’t eating.’
Mario Sr and Esperanza, who worked as a nanny, suffered rapid declines in their health after testing positive for Covid-19. They died before their son, who was in such poor health that Marcela is unsure if he was told about his parents’ deaths before his own passing.
She explained: ‘Between the ventilator and the sedatives, I don’t know how much he was aware of in the last few weeks.’
The Mayorgas emigrated to the US from Nicaragua in the 1980s, became US citizens and worked hard to make a life for themselves.
Paying tribute to her late loved-ones, Marcela added: ‘They were grateful to be here and become U.S. citizens. This has been a family who has been together for so long and built so much together.’
She said surviving cousin Violeta is now self-quarantining away from her eight year-old son while she recovers, and is having to grieve for her parents and brother alone.
Pix: Mario Mayorga Jr, his parents Mario Snr. and Esperanza (Pictures: ABC News)