The family, who is now left mourning their loss, shared their story in the hopes of urging others to get vaccinated before it's too late.
After being together for years, a Chicago couple finally decided to tie the knot right after Thanksgiving. Unfortunately, they didn't live to see their big day. According to ABC affiliate WLS-TV, Luis Suarez and Norma Francopassed away recently after contracting COVID-19. The pair was reportedly expecting to get the COVID vaccine ahead of their wedding so that they could safely interact with family members.
But before they could do either of those things, Suarez and Franco were diagnosed with the virus and tragically died because of it in October, revealed their family members. "It feels like a Romeo and Juliet story, it really does," expressed the couple's stepdaughter, Imelda Gambia. "They were meant to be together and something tragic like this happens."
They *planned* to get vaccinated. Miss me with the bs. https://t.co/cm9vuAAuxF— 3 (@DenimandChard) November 16, 2021
Suarez, who grew up in Puerto Rico and moved to Chicago later, was a talented baseball player. He even worked as an usher for the White Sox at some point, revealing his loved ones. Above all, he loved Franco dearly but tragically couldn't be with her in his final moments. When the couple got sick, they were separated in the hospital because they were not married, according to the outlet.
This made it difficult for them to communicate with each other or get any information about each other. Eventually, they passed away a week apart after being placed on life support. "She was his soulmate," said the pair's son, Angel Santos. "They really loved each other." Although the two couldn't realize their dream of getting married, their family made sure their funeral service was a nod to their plans of union. While Franco was dressed in her white gown, Suarez was laid down in a white suit. The two also wore the rings that they had planned to exchange during their nuptials.
The family, who is now left mourning their loss, shared their story in the hopes of urging others to get vaccinated before it's too late. "People are worried about the side effects," noted Santos. "The side effects of losing a family member [this] way are terrible, and that's what happens if you don't get vaccinated."
Just last month similar reports of a Virginia couple, who left their five children and one grandchild behind, surfaced. Kevin and Misty Mitchem died weeks apart after contracting the virus in September. Misty, 46, died on September 23 while her 48-year-old husband passed away on October 8. According to PEOPLE, the pair met in high school but got married later. During their 17-year marriage, they brought up their children: Riley, 17; Leah, 14, and twins Taylor and Aiden, 11 and Kevin's 22-year old daughter, Angel, from another relationship who has a baby boy.
Now these five kids, four of them minors, are orphans because their parents were @free people”. Great job.— Resistor Happy Again (@EndTheDecay) October 17, 2021
Va. Couple Die of COVID Weeks Apart, Leaving Behind 5 Children: 'Please Get Vaccinated,' Family Says https://t.co/rMnEvKsAR2
Having witnessed the devastating effect of the contagion on their family, Kevin's brother Mike hoped that the deceased couple would inspire others to take COVID-19 seriously and get vaccinated as soon as possible. "I knew how deadly COVID could be so I went to my brother and asked him to please get vaccinated," he told PEOPLE. "His response to me was to show different memes and stuff that he found on Facebook. He believed all that to be gospel truth and I could not change his mind." He added, "The heartbreaking part was while [Kevin] was in the hospital, he asked the medical staff to give him the shot. They had to tell him it was too late."
Cover image source: YouTube Screenshot | ABC 7 Chicago