Valley family pushes for COVID vaccines after unvaccinated dad dies from COVID-19

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Posted at 3:23 PM, Aug 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-23 20:38:26-04

PHOENIX — A Phoenix family has a plea for people to get vaccinated after a 37-year-old father died from COVID-19.

Jossue Miguel Rivera was the only one in his family not vaccinated.

His sister Beatrice Rivera said they'll never know if he would've survived had he been vaccinated.

"I guess we're left with the doubt," she said.

Jossue was the oldest of three siblings. He was nine years older than Beatrice and was a father figure to her growing up.

"He would take care of me. He would tag me along with him sometimes. He's the one who taught me how to drive, you know he was just always there for me," said Beatrice.

He was also a loving dad of two young boys. His wife Erika is now 39 weeks pregnant with a baby girl.

"She knows that she has a piece of him still. He's going to live through his kids," said Beatrice.

Beatrice said Jossue had planned to get vaccinated but hadn't made it a priority. He got COVID and quickly ended up on a ventilator. He passed away a week later.

"I think we're just all still in shock because of how fast it happened. We didn't have time to prepare, or you know--take in what was happening," she said. "I never would have imagined that someone so close to me was going to pass away."

Beatrice said she doesn't want others to go through the same pain and loss and hopes those who are hesitant get the vaccine.

"It can happen, and it doesn't matter if you're about to have a baby or how old you are, it can happen," she said.

The Rivera family has happy memories of Jossue to hold on to. Beatrice said he was a jokester who loved music, dance and travel.

"Everybody that met him is going to miss his smile," she said.

A GoFundMe page has been set up for the Rivera family.