DENVER (CBS4) - Two years into the pandemic and while life is returning back to normal for many people, it's everything but that for widow Bianca Enriquez. She and her family are left grieving the death of her husband.
When her 29-year-old husband, Jesus Enriquez, tested positive for COVID-19 on Dec. 17, he thought it would quickly run its course.
"This was his first time catching COVID," Bianca said. "He thought it was a part of it, he didn't think that it would get to where he was so, so sick."
Bianca said Jesus caught the virus while working out in the oil fields in North Dakota. The family lives in Colorado.
"He was trying to provide for his family, and his boss and upper management didn't give a crap. They kept showing up to work while they knew they were positive," she said.
The father of five was unvaccinated. Bianca said he wasn't able to get the vaccine because of his work schedule.
"Sometimes by the time he would get off of work the clinics were closed," she explained.
Jesus was healthy and didn't have any underlying health conditions. When he initially started showing symptoms he grew concerned and took himself to the hospital. After a two hour visit, he was discharged and sent home with medications.
A few days later he was back in the hospital barely breathing. Days later he was intubated, and he then went into cardiac arrest for eight minutes. Doctors eventually got a heartbeat back and they were able to stabilize him.
Soon after, he was flown to a different hospital in Billings, Montana, but later his lung ruptured, and again, he went into cardiac arrest. That's when doctors told Bianca there was nothing more they could do.
She was allowed to enter the room to be with him as he took his final breath. She was in the room with him for about 10 minutes before his heart stopped beating. After weeks of battling the virus, Jesus died on Jan. 5.
"I got to hold his hand and be there with him in his last moments," Bianca said. "It was heartbreaking. I felt helpless. It was very, very hard for me."
Jesus was known as a jokester and a man who would help anyone. Bianca wants him to be remembered for his selfless character.
"He was a hard working, family man," she said. "He sacrificed so much for us. He loved us so much."
Bianca's message for the community is to stay home if you're sick. She said while the virus may not severely hit you, it's killing others like Jesus. She and their five children are now left figuring out what's next without Jesus' light.
"He was our provider. He took care of all of us. So I don't know what life is going to look like," Bianca said. "We all miss him dearly and we love him."
The family has set up a GoFundMe account to help with funeral expenses.
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