A New York City man lost his mother and brother to the coronavirus in just a single day this week.
Lloyd Torres, 49, of Queens, said his 73-year-old mother Lolita and 47-year-old brother Louis died within 24 hours of each other starting April 7.
‘It’s been devastating,’ Torres told the New York Post. ‘For those who are walking around thinking life is still normal — it’s not.’
Lolita and Louis began to feel sick inside the family’s Briarwood-neighborhood home on April 1.
Llyod Torres said his mother, 73-year-old Lolita (left), and his brother, 47-year-old Louis (right), died within 24 hours of each other in New York City
Torres, a hospital administrator at Columbia University Irving Center, said Louis had trouble moving around the city.
‘[Louis] was aching, not feeling well, really had a hard time going to the subway and back home,’ he said.
‘He started to have difficulty breathing, couldn’t keep food down.’
At the NewYork-Presbyterian Queens, doctors confirmed that Louis had contracted COVID-19 and pneumonia. He was placed on a ventilator.
Pictured: Llyod Torres (right) spending time with Louis (left) by fishing and sailing together before he passed away
Louis (center), pictured with his late father, contracted COVID-19 and pneumonia while living in Queens
Within days, his kidney function declined and he died at the hospital on Wednesday.
‘His heart stopped. My brother was way too young,’ said Torres.
Around that time, his mother called an ambulance for herself and was transported to the Queens Hospital Center.
Like her son, Lolita suffered from COVID-19 and pneumonia. She died on Tuesday.
Torres said: ‘How did this happen? I just don’t have those answers, nobody knows how or where this was contracted.’
On Facebook, Torres shared photos of his family and wrote two heartfelt messages.
‘[Lolita’s] heart stopped, but we know her love will always continue in her family and friends. She touched many lives and fed many mouths…Please remember Lolita as a beautiful, strong woman, with a hearty laugh and an unabashed smile,’ he wrote in one post.
‘[Louis] was a generous and sensitive soul, who lived life on his terms,’ he wrote in another.
Lolita (pictured) came down with COVID-19 and pneumonia after feeling symptoms on April 1
‘I will always remember his jokes and his smile, the selfless way he cared for my mom and dad, and most of all, all those great times we shared together growing up and figuring life out together…’
But as COVID-19 continues to spread across New York City – with 94,409 cases and 7,844 deaths – funeral homes have become overwhelmed.
We called around and were met with a very strange responses from “No, we can’t” to “It’s impossible” to “You have to join a waitlist”,’ said Torres.
This comes as city officials announced coronavirus victims who were not claimed by family members will be buried at Hart Island.
Torres said a funeral home in Westchester eventually agreed to take the bodies.
Pictured (left to right): Llyod and Louis posing for a photo as children
With mounting deaths across the city, Torres urged residents to stay indoors unless there’s a crucial reason.
‘[The] cautionary tale is that we all have to stay at home and do our part. We have to make sure this doesn’t happen to anyone else,’ said Torres.
A GoFundMe was created to help offset the funeral and medical costs.
In New York state, officials have recorded 174, 489 COVID-19 cases and the death toll has surged to 7,844.
A glimmer of hope shined through Friday after Gov. Andrew Cuomo said ICU admissions are lower than they were before the pandemic spread.
‘They couldn’t count the spirit of New Yorkers and the love of New Yorkers. That’s what their computers couldn’t count on,’ Cuomo said on Friday.
‘To use an overused term, we are cautiously optimistic that we are slwoing the infection rate. That’s what the data suggests.
‘The change in total hospitalizations is down, not relative to yesterday but in its three day average.
‘The change of ICU admissions is a negative number for the first time since we started this intense journey. That means fewer people are in intensive care statewide than there were before. That’s good.
‘Intubations is a little tick higher than it has been. The bad news is we continue to lose a tremendous number of lives. 777. That this situation should exceed 9/11 is still beyond my capacity to fully appreciate.
‘Overall, New York is flattening the curve,’ he said.
The next phase will be rolling out an antibody test that should tell if a person has had the virus and recovered from it which will allow people to ‘gradually’ get back to work.