Coronavirus: Southern California family loses dad to COVID-19 one day before Father's Day

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- It's a physical and emotional battle many cannot fully understand. Richard Garay lost his father to COVID-19 one day before Father's Day.

"He was my best friend and we had told each other we're glad we're going through this together," Richard Garay said.

The two fought the virus in the same room.

"I was able to tell him 'Dad, I don't think I'm going to make it.' And those were my last words to my father," Richard Garay said.

"In my heart I believe my father said 'my son's going, I'm going too' because we had a really tight bond."

Vidal Garay immigrated from Nayarit, Mexico. The beloved grandfather had just turned 60.

"He put family first all the time. I remember my dad worked late nights, early mornings. He'd come home in dirt and mud, and he would still have time for us."

Richard Garay is still recovering from the virus along with many of his relatives, but he's opening up about his loss hoping others can learn from their story. COVID-19 infected nearly 30 people in his family.

"All it takes is that one slip-up or to have that 10 minute conversation without a mask because you felt comfortable, and that's all you need to get it."

And they are humbly asking for help to give Vidal Garay a proper goodbye.

"Unfortunately, because my whole family was infected, none of us are working. We're all unemployed right now, we're quarantined. If you can find it in your hearts to donate $1, $5, any amount helps, it's all going to go towards my father's funeral expenses," Richard Garay said.

A GoFundMe page has been set up for Vidal Garay's funeral expenses.

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Gov. Gavin Newsom shared the number of new COVID-19 cases in California: from 4,230 on Sunday, to 5,019 on Monday and 7,149 on Tuesday. That's a 69% increase in new cases in just two days.

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