Coronavirus: Florida couple die days apart from COVID-19

POLK COUNTY, Fla. — A Florida couple who both battled the coronavirus for nearly two months died days apart.

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Norma and Elio Reyes were hospitalized in July with the coronavirus and on Friday Norma died, WTVT reported. Elio died on Thursday.

“My dad now follows my mom up to heaven, just like how he always followed her,” daughter Bryana Reyes said on social media. “(Their) love was so strong they left not even a week apart.”

Norma Reyes was an elementary school teacher who was honored as “School Related State Employee of the Year” in 2012. She continued teaching from the hospital.

“Norma was responsible for organizing many of the fundraising efforts at Purcell Elementary,” Principal Beth Nave, who worked with Norma for 16 years, told WFLA. “She also spent her personal time helping with other charitable fundraising activities in the community, such as the Relay for Life of Mulberry.”

Her family is shocked by the loss.

“She just said, ‘I love you and I’m very proud of everything,” son E.J. Reyes told WFLA. “The whole time she kept saying, ‘I’m coming home this weekend I’m gonna fight,’ gonna work on my oxygen, come home back to the family being able to make sure everything goes right with your dad.’ I just didn’t think she meant home as in heaven.”

The couple shared the same hospital room at one point, WTVT reported. Both had underlying medical issues including diabetes. Norma had emphysema and Elio had heart conditions.

Neither was vaccinated. E.J. Reyes said his parents were waiting to know more about the shot’s effects.

“But it was just too late,” he told WTVT.

He said his sister and fiance have gotten their first shot, WFLA reported. He likely will too.

A crowd-sourced funding account was set up to help with funeral and medical costs, WTSP reported.

“Fly high dad and go dancing with mom, I love you both so much and will miss y’all more (than) y’all could ever know,” Bryana Reyes said. “I have such loving and beautiful angels looking over me now.. forever and always…may y’all rest in paradise and dance forever.”

HEARTBREAKING: A Polk County husband and wife who were battling COVID-19 for weeks passed away just a few days apart....

Posted by FOX 13 News - Tampa Bay on Friday, August 27, 2021

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