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'Didn't say goodbye:' Milwaukee family mourns coronavirus victim, Luis Soto-Rodriguez

’Didn’t say goodbye: ’ Milwaukee family mourns coronavirus victim, Luis Soto-Rodriguez

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- After running a high fever and passing out, the condition of Luis Soto-Rodriguez, 73, worsened in a matter of days. He fell ill to coronavirus.

“By Friday his lungs were already irritated, and by Saturday morning his organs were failing, and he passed away Saturday night,” said his son, Rafael Soto.

Rafael, who lives in Milwaukee, tells CBS 58 he wanted to catch a flight to Orlando where his father lives, but no one was allowed near him. His mother was sent home to self-quarantine, but tested negative.

“I wish I would’ve been next to him, holding his hand. My mom too, my whole family,” Rafael said.

To make matters worse, because of restrictions on mass gatherings, the family won’t be able to hold a funeral service. “We won’t have a service where we can say our final goodbye. He was picked up by the funeral home and he will be cremated.”

The family believes Soto-Rodriguez caught the virus through his job as an Uber driver. “The Health Department in Florida requested a list of all the passengers my dad had, so we’re still waiting to hear back if one of his passengers was positive at the time.”

He suffered a heart attack a few years ago, so it likely put him at a greater risk for getting the virus.

Soto-Rodriguez is being remembered as a loving Puerto Rican man, who had a passion for playing dominoes. “He was funny, he loved to play dominoes,” Rafael said. “He was always around family and every time we were together he was just playing dominoes.”

The family hopes to hold a memorial service for him during the summer.

In a statement, an Uber spokesperson said, "Our hearts go out to Luis’s loved ones and to everyone suffering during this incredibly difficult time."

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