• Arizona
  • Thursday , Feb 1 , 2018

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San Tan Valley Area Information

2 minutes reading time (402 words)

San Tan Valley family can't afford grandfather's cremation after he dies from COVID-19

grandpacovid

It was already going to be a tough Christmas for the Garza family. 

Amber Garza, 39, says she couldn't afford presents this year, and had warned her 14-year-old son that there might not be much under the tree.

"He said 'It's okay, mom, I understand,'" Garza said. "But I hate it."

Her father, mother, son, and brother had all been living together, trying to makes ends meet. But jobs were scarce for the family and unemployment benefits were slow to come.

"Yeah, we've had some very bad financial struggles," said Garza, who works as an administrative assistant, and a part-time job at Bath and Body Works.

The family recently saved up for a car so the family could get around after their old one was totaled. But there wasn't much money left.

"That's our Christmas present, so mom can continue to get to work," Garza said. Then, she got sick with COVID this December.

"I had a little bit of a cough, then a few days later lost my sense of smell," Garza said. Garza's test came back positive, then her symptoms got worse. "I had nausea. Nausea was just on another level."

Her father, 71-year-old Alfredo Garza, then got sick as well. "He was real cold, wasn't hungry, didn't want to eat," Garza said.

Monday, Amber took him to Banner Ironwood where he was admitted to the ICU after he developed breathing issues. But by Tuesday, Alfredo's conditioned had worsened, and the family was allowed in to say goodbye.

"It was very hard and I wouldn't wish that on my worst enemy," Garza said. Alfredo died that afternoon at 1:50 PM.

But after Amber got the call from the hospital, she realized that she had no way to pay for her father to be cremated since her savings had been decimated after a tough year.

"Everything is gone. I don't have anything left. I barely make my monthly payments as it is," Garza said.

Garza says she isn't planning a funeral, she just wants to be able to bring her father's ashes home. She's set up a GoFundMe with the goal of raising $1,000 to cover the costs of the cremation.

While the family's Christmas will already be harder than expected with the loss of Garza's father, she's hoping that the community's kindness might come through with some help.

"It would mean the world to me," Garza said. "It really would."
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