Fairfield woman loses 3 family members within 3 weeks to COVID-19

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FAIRFIELD, Calif. (KTXL) – A Fairfield woman shared her grief Tuesday after losing her mother, her brother and her uncle to COVID-19 all within less than a month.

“It’s one thing to lose one relative, but I lost my mom and my brother within three weeks,” Gina Kaye told FOX40.

During that time, Kaye said she also lost her uncle in Nebraska, who was her father’s best friend and older brother.

“It’s just so different now. It’s so different with everyone. It’s taking a lot to get used it,” Kaye said.

She said losing three members of her family is not only heartbreaking, it’s life-changing.

“My dad is really taking it hard. He lost his only, my brother was his only son. His only other kid,” Kaye explained. “It was just the two of us and my mom. He loved my mom so much.”

Her parents, Eugene and Cathy Castaneda, had been together for 45 years, married for nearly 41 of those years.

They went into the hospital together but her father left without his wife.

“It was sad because she died just a few rooms away from my dad,” Kaye said. “My mom died within five days of finding out that she had it.”

Cathy Castaneda died on Christmas Day.

“He cries so much. It’s really sad,” Kaye said.

Kaye said following her mother’s death, she stayed in bed for three days crying and unable to get up. Her daughters helped her get through it. 

Kaye said she believes her 39-year-old brother David Castaneda contracted COVID-19 first. 

He went to the hospital where he was placed on a ventilator for five weeks before he died. She said doctors told her his diabetes and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease were contributing factors.

Kaye said she doesn’t know how her family members contracted the virus.

“It was very, very quick,” she recalled.

She said they felt flu-like symptoms and difficulty breathing.

“When they couldn’t breathe anymore, that’s when they finally went to the emergency room, when they just could not do it anymore,” Kaye explained. “But they never thought that they had COVID.”

She said her family can’t help but view COVID-19 very differently now.

“I’ve always gone along with wearing masks and social distancing. But in my mind, I didn’t really take it that seriously,” Kaye said. “And now, I know I wear a mask everywhere I go. I try to stay away from people.”

“It’s basically the two of us now, my sister-in-law and my two nephews and my two daughters. It’s still hard. I know it’s going to take some time,” she continued. 

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