MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The coronavirus has taken a heavy toll on the family of CBS4 reporter Jessica Vallejo, who lost her grandfather and uncle to COVID-19.
Both men were doctors, beloved by their family and patients alike.
Both of Vallejo’s parents are doctors as well. Both have contracted COVID-19 and survived it.
“I can’t picture life without Charlie. He was my double uncle, my godfather and my other dad,” said Jessica who remembers her uncle, Dr. Charlie Vallejo, as a dedicated doctor who had a zest for life and always brought laughter to his family.
A few weeks before her uncle’s death, Jessica’s grandfather, Dr. Jorge Vallejo, died from the virus. In a little more than a month, a father and son, had lost their lives to COVID-19.
“So I think my family is the perfect example of what doctors should be,” said Jessica. “My family has always been doctors who dedicate their lives to their patients.”
The Vallejos are a family of doctors. There are 20 doctors, dentists, and medical students in the family, including Charlie Vallejo Jr. who is doing his residency in internal medicine.
“Just like firefighters put their life on the line, we do the same going into hospitals. It’s whatever you can do to heal and save your patients,” he said.
Dr. Charlie Vallejo’s wife, Lissette, is a practicing psychiatrist.
“I’m going to ask God for strength so my sons can finish medical school and follow in their father’s footsteps. I think that’s what he’d want me to do,” she said.
While Jessica didn’t go into the family business, she’s forging a new path in journalism with two medical angels watching from overhead.
“It’s not just statistics, it’s a life, it affects a family. So when I’m reporting I remember that because it feels like my family is broken,” she said.
The entire CBS4 family sends our sincerest condolences to the Vallejo family.