‘It’s like we lost both parents when we lost our mom’: Shoals family remembers mother who died of COVID-19

Updated: Oct. 3, 2020 at 11:28 PM CDT
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FLORENCE, Ala. (WAFF) - A Valley family knows exactly what it’s like to lose a loved one to coronavirus.

Jose Figueroa-Cifuentes lost his mother less than a month ago to the virus.

He said her symptoms started light with a cough and less than two weeks later things went downhill from there

“Everyone I was calling I was breaking their hearts,” said Jose Figueroa-Cifuentes.

September 25th was the day the Cifuentes family’s hearts shattered.

“It’s probably the hardest, it’s probably the hardest days we’ve ever been through right now constantly having mom there, constantly working together, trying to do everything we can to make mom happy and now it still really hasn’t hit even though we’ve had the funeral and everything. We still believe she’s on vacation,” said Figueroa-Cifuentes.

Rosa Cifuentes was in the hospital for 45 days. She spent 43 of those on the ventilator with COVID-19 and pneumonia.

“It’s like we lost both parents when we lost our mom. She taught us everything,” said Figueroa-Cifuentes.

Rosa immigrated to America and raised her children alone until the day she passed.

Jose says she instilled hard work and perseverance in them.

“It was the easiest thing Seeing that My number one supporter, my purpose in life, my everything, to do everything I can throughout the university and just anything I do being there almost lifeless,” said Figueroa-Cifuentes.

Jose says not being able to be by his mom’s side when she needed it the most was the hardest part.

“Not being able to be with her not being able to be outside of the doors just telling her, hey everything is going to be fine,” said Figueroa-Cifuentes.

And now, as his family is relearning life without their mother, he said …

“We have to come together and work with each other and think of others,” said Figueroa-Cifuentes.

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