Marine veteran and father of five, John Daly, 89, is one of more than 15,000 seniors who died last spring after contracting the novel coronavirus in a New York nursing home.
Daly was admitted into the facility March 13th for rehabilitation after suffering from aspiration pneumonia. The following day nursing homes went into lockdown, isolating vulnerable seniors like Daly from their families.
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“My mother was assured that he would be safe,” Grace Colucci, one of Daly’s daughters, told Fox News.
Two weeks into his stay, Colucci said her family was informed of two positive COVID-19 cases being found within the nursing home, but that they were told their father was being kept safe in a separate part of the facility.
When the family was eventually called to pick up Daly after his health insurance benefits ran out, Grace Colucci said the condition they found their father in horrified them.
“We didn’t know – we weren’t told, but my father was sick with COVID,” she said. “My brothers had to carry him into the car – he had lost so much weight.”
After just three days at home, the 89-year-old was rushed to a veteran’s hospital emergency room with a fever of 103°. There he was finally tested and diagnosed with COVID-19.
After nearly a month in the hospital, Daly was brought home for hospice care where he ultimately died.
“My mother was able to hold his hand when he passed,” Colucci recalled. “She kisses his picture every night wishing she was with him.”
Having died at home, John Daly’s death remains uncounted in the now more than 15,000 death-toll attributed to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s March 25th directive forcing nursing homes to accept COVID-19 positive patients back into their facilities.
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Daly was the ninth of ten children, a deeply religious man, and served on the front lines of active combat in the U.S. military as a Marine. His daughter described him as a loving, devoted, hardworking husband and father.
“My father taught me to pay it forward. To always put God, my family and my country first,” she said.
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Grace Colucci said she is thankful to have found the group Voices for Seniors, who have been able to offer emotional support as well as an avenue to seek accountability and justice for the loss of her father.
“We need to have an investigation and we need accountability.”