(Right Country) – The coronavirus has gripped the world in fear resulting in the self-isolation of millions of people. While many believe this has been blown way out of proportion, there are good reasons why we need to stop this virus before it really spirals out of control. One of those reasons is that people with weakened immune systems and underlying health problems are at a much greater risk of dying from it than the majority of us who are healthy.
One such tragic case has made headlines around the globe highlighting just how important it is to work together to stop the spread of the coronavirus. In Spain, 20-year-old Francisco Garcia became one of the youngest to die from the virus. He likely would have survived had he not also had leukemia.
The scariest part is no one knew Garcia had leukemia until it was too late and he lost his life thanks to the coronavirus. By all accounts, Garcia, a youth soccer coach at Malaga club Atletico Portada Alta, was healthy and active yet the virus took him down and he died within four days.
The Sun gives the account of his last days:
Francisco’s doting stepdad Juan Fernandez, who raised Francis – as he was known to friends – since he was a four-year-old boy, told Sun Online: “We’ve devastated and still in a state of shock.
“He was such a healthy boy who loved life and loved his football. He was only 20. His 21st birthday wasn’t until October 8.
“He lived with us and everything was fine up until very recently.”
Speaking out on behalf of himself and Francisco’s mother Irene Gomez, 42, who was too devastated to talk, he said: “He felt a bit under the weather a week ago last Friday, (on March 6) but we just thought it was the onset of a common cold.
“He had a sore throat but he didn’t have a temperature.
“He spent the weekend resting at home on the sofa and watching TV.
“I took him in to see his GP on Monday of last week (on March 9) because he still wasn’t right.
“His doctor told him to take paracetamol and sent him home and said there was no need to worry.”
His condition deteriorated overnight so his worried parents took him to a health centre the next day – but he was sent home again, this time with antibiotics.
Juan then told of the family’s frightening last day together as he said: “We didn’t think anything was really wrong and nor did they then.
“But by the next day he couldn’t stand up properly and he had a fever.
“We knew it was a bit more serious than a cold or the flu so we drove him to Carlos Haya Hospital where they admitted him immediately and put him on a ventilator.
“That was the last time Irene and I saw him.”
Francisco – an architectural design student – was diagnosed with pneumonia that day and they were told that they were going to test him for coronavirus – with his family refused access to see him because of the quarantine.
Juan continued: “They confirmed he had coronavirus the following day but also said they had detected something in his blood – which later turned out to be leukaemia.
“It was so much to take in. Francis was a heavyish lad but he was tall at 6ft 5ins and played football regularly with friends. He’d never complained of any health problems.
“We knew coronavirus was killing people – but we never thought it would kill Francis.
“Finding out about the leukaemia was a hammer-blow. But it’s treatable and we would have been able to think about things like a bone marrow transplant if we’d have had more time.
“We were told he had died on Sunday. All we had over those four days was telephone contact with the hospital. We couldn’t speak to Francis, we didn’t see him and we couldn’t pay our last respects.
If you think self-isolation and social distancing is over-the-top, tell that to Garcia’s family. This is why it’s so important to follow government protocols right now; for the protection of the weaker among us, some of whom don’t even know they are the weaker ones.