EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — An El Paso family is mourning the death of a wife, mother, and grandmother after she lost her battle with COVID-19 at just 43 years old.
Sara Montoya died Aug. 13 after spending 44 days in the hospital. However, back on July 5, she posted a heartbreaking message on Facebook. She asked the community to take the virus seriously.
“Never in my life did I think that I would be fighting for my breath something that we take for granted every day,” Montoya said on Facebook Live.
She was on oxygen and struggled to catch her breath while recording the video.
“Please do not put your families at risk. I did the best that I thought I could,” Montoya said.
Her heartbreaking message was viewed more than 5 million times on Facebook and was shared around the world.
Her daughter told KTSM that at the time, she didn’t like the video on Facebook but now she is thankful for it.
“I was kind of embarrassed, honestly, telling my mom to take it off, ‘I don’t want people to know that you’re positive, it’s none of their business.’ Now that she’s gone I’m glad she never took it down. I’m glad that it’s there to bring awareness to people because a lot of people don’t take it seriously,” said Jasmin Chavez, Montoya’s daughter.
The video was recorded just five days after Montoya was admitted to UMC. A few days after she posted it, she was put on a ventilator and that was the last time her family ever spoke to her.
Montoya’s family is hoping her message will remind people that every COVID-19 death in El Paso is not just a number, but a person with people who miss them dearly.
Montoya is leaving behind her husband, three daughters, and two grandchildren. The family is now struggling to tell her 3-year-old granddaughter that she is gone.
“She asks where’s grandma and I haven’t had the heart to tell her that grandma’s gone,” Montoya’s daughter Valerie Gutierrez said as she wiped tears away.
The family says they didn’t expect that Montoya would pass away from the virus. The family said due to the sudden death they have created a GoFundMe to help with funeral costs.