An unvaccinated Florida man died from COVID-19 minutes before he became a grandfather, a report said.
Shane O’Neal, 40, died on Sept. 3 just 19 minutes before his daughter Kylie Dean gave birth to a son in the Jacksonville area, USA Today reported.
Dean was in labor when she got the call her father wasn’t going to make it.
“I broke down and was literally sobbing,” Dean told the newspaper. “And my family and friends are standing at my window, watching me just literally break.”
O’Neal was planning to get vaccinated before he tested positive for the coronavirus last month, Dean told First Coast News in an interview while her dad was intubated. He hadn’t had any “underlying health conditions” but ended up in the hospital a week later, she said.
“To know him is simply to love him,” Dean said. “He’s a people person … He’s just a good, home-grown man.”
The family was trying to locate a life-sustaining ECMO machine, the report said.
Dean, an ICU nurse, already sees her father in newborn Preston, she told USA Today. Her father used to signal “I love you” in sign language and the baby sometimes seems to be making the same gesture, she said.
“I don’t know if it’s a coincidence, but it always brings me back to my dad when I see it,” she told the paper.
About 70 percent of eligible Floridians have been vaccinated against COVID-19, according to the latest data from the state Department of Health.
In the week ending Sept. 16, there were more than 75,000 positive cases and 384 deaths related to the pandemic, according to department figures. More than 51,000 have died in the Sunshine State related to the virus, data show.