A Florida father and son died from the coronavirus within five weeks of each other, The Miami Herald reported.
Retired gynecologist and obstetrician Jorge Vallejo, 89, died on June 27, six days after he was hospitalized at Palmetto General Hospital.
His son, 57-year-old Carlos Vallejo, who is also a doctor, was hospitalized the same day his father died. Carlos Vallejo, who practiced as an internist, died Aug. 1 after spending 42 days in the intensive care unit at Cleveland Clinic in Weston, Fla.
Family members interviewed by the Herald believe that Carlos Valleja caught the disease after treating dozens of coronavirus patients, many of whom were elderly and in nursing homes.
Jorge Vallejo and his family were Cuban immigrants, and Jorge Vallejo himself was an outspoken critic of Fidel Castro’s regime. He fled with his wife and children from Cuba in 1965 and had a family full of physicians. His other sons, Jorge Velljo Jr. and Freddy Vallejo, became a psychiatrist and a dentist, respectively.
Jorge Vallejo Sr. garnered national attention in the 1990s when he delivered the smallest baby born in the U.S. Baby Zascha, who is now 28, weighed less than a pound and was dubbed the “Miracle Baby” after her birth in 1992.
At the time, Jorge Vallejo said that the delivery made him feel “near to God,” according to the Miami newspaper.
News of the Vallejos’ deaths comes after Florida saw a significant surge of coronavirus cases in late June and July.
Since the case count peaked in mid-July, the state has seen a reprieve in newly confirmed infections. In particular, Miami-Dade County and the city of Miami endured some of the state’s worst outbreaks since the beginning of the pandemic.
The Vallejos settled first in Key West and then finally in Hialeah, Fla., an area close to the state’s hot spot.