‘An epic love story’: Couple dies of COVID-19 hours after one final Zoom call

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - A San Diego family is mourning a pair of middle school sweethearts, who were inseparable during their lives and died from COVID-19 just hours apart.

Juan and Blanca Rodriguez’s love story is like something from the movies. The two met in seventh grade and married five years later. They had four kids and, soon, many grandchildren.

Blanca and Juan Rodriguez, both 67, died from COVID-19 hours apart in two different hospitals. The two met in seventh grade, married five years later and had four kids.
Blanca and Juan Rodriguez, both 67, died from COVID-19 hours apart in two different hospitals. The two met in seventh grade, married five years later and had four kids. (Source: Cynthia Rodriguez, KGTV via CNN)

“He saw my mom in homeroom in seventh grade, and he said from the moment he saw her, he knew he was going to marry her,” said Cynthia Rodriguez, the couple’s daughter.

The happily retired couple, both 67, led a beautiful life in south San Diego until mid-January when everyone in the family suddenly got COVID-19. The family says it was a surprise because they took extra precautions to stay safe.

“We quarantined. We didn’t go out. We didn’t even go to stores. We would order food delivery,” said Blanca Velazquez, the couple’s daughter.

Just as their kids were recovering, Juan and Blanca Rodriguez’s symptoms took a turn for the worse. On Feb. 1, they were both rushed to two different hospitals, and the family could only talk to them via Zoom.

“We were like, ‘Mom’s going to be OK. We need to worry about Dad,’” Velazquez said.

Juan Rodriguez’s condition continued to worsen until Sunday, the family was told to say their goodbyes.

“My mom was on the Zoom call, and she told my dad that she was happy that she was able to share her life with him, and she thanked him for being the love of her life,” Velazquez said.

Three hours after that call, Blanca Rodriguez also stopped responding to medication. Her daughter says it’s as if she knew her soulmate was leaving soon.

Blanca Rodriguez took her last breath Feb. 8 at 12:30 a.m. Three hours later, in a hospital across town, Juan Rodriguez joined his wife in death.

“He couldn’t live without her, so, he just let go,” Velazquez said. “It’s like an epic love story, that they went together in the same day. They were the best parents.”

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