LYNWOOD (CBSLA) — Antonio Pacheco was a beloved coach for the Lynwood youth basketball team, a city commissioner, a husband of 21 years and a devoted father of two.
“He always liked to give, but never expected anything in return,” Pacheco’s son, Alejandro, said.
Alejandro and his sister, Sabrina, still could not believe that their father died after contracting COVID-19.
The 42-year-old was diabetic and surviving with the one kidney his wife donated to him eight years ago.
Pacheco knew that his compromised immune system might not be able to withstand a bout with the novel coronavirus, so when he developed a fever and started vomiting last week, he got tested.
“When he got tested positive, not even an hour after getting the results, that’s when he started feeling weak,” Alejandro said.
He said his dad started panicking and asked Sabrina to take him to the hospital, but he didn’t make it there alive.
“It was just me and him,” Sabrina said. “The last words he told me was that he was fine.”
Pacheco closed his eyes in the car and stopped breathing. Sabrina called police and pulled over, but the paramedics could not revive him.
“I think he freaked out,” Alejandro said. “I think his blood pressure went low, his sugar went low.”
Pacheco was Compton native remembered for his willingness to help those in need.
“He gave a guy $100 who was selling flowers when I was little,” Alejandro said. “It made me cry. It made the man cry, too.”
And when the city learned of his passing, officials presented the family with a certificate in honor and memory of his life.
But as businesses start to reopen and people begin to get back to their routines, the Alejandro and Sabrina are asking that people pay mind to those who are most vulnerable.
“We still have to take precautions,” Alejandro said.
The family has set up a GoFundMe page to help cover their costs as they mourn the loss of their father and husband.