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Widow details husband's death after not seeking treatment for COVID-19

Like many who have died, he was not fully vaccinated. Unlike many, he never even went to the hospital. He died at home.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — A Corpus Christi woman is having to make plans for her husband's funeral after she said he died from COVID-19.

Like many who have died, he was not fully vaccinated. Unlike many, he never even went to the hospital. He died at home.

His wife, Angel Tanguma, is calling it a preventable tragedy.

She is mourning the loss of her 52-year-old husband Joel Tanguma. He was a well-known Corpus Christi DJ and jack of all trades. 

"He did not want to go to the hospital," Angel said. "He said he didn't need to."

Mrs. Tanguma said she and her husband tested positive for COVID several weeks ago. She had been fully vaccinated since February but her husband did not get his first vaccine shot until July 12. 

"Me and my daughter told him all the time, 'We will go with you. It's free. It's at the mall,' Tanguma said. "But he waited too long. It's only gonna take 15 minutes out of your life."

The shot came too late. A week later, they caught COVID-19 before the vaccine could take effect.

"You are still vulnerable between the first and second shot," Pulmonologist Dr. Salim Surani said. "In other words, the body sees the vaccine and starts forming some antibodies. Then, when they get the second dose, they start forming more."

Joel also had underlying health conditions. He struggled to breathe, but stayed home.

"The last two days, I feel like his breathing was labored so I asked him maybe you should go to the hospital just for them to check you and he said no," Angel added. 

Joel died on Sunday, August 1. The Nueces County Medical Examiner's Office confirmed it's looking into his exact cause of his death.

Dr. Surani also said if you are struggling to breathe, you need to get to a doctor because there are medical treatments they can give you that can save your life.

The family has set up a GoFundMe to help with funeral costs. Donate here. 

For the latest updates on coronavirus in the Coastal Bend, click here.

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