MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The sister of a Miami man who is fighting for his life inside the intensive care unit at Mercy Hospital says family members had begged him to get vaccinated against the coronavirus but sadly he did not.
“We begged him repeatedly saying you are out in public and you need to get protected,” said Belkys Diaz, whose 55-year-old brother Raymond Burdier has been hospitalized since July 12th with COVID-19.READ MORE: ‘Inspire What Can Be Done Here In Space’: Inspiration4 Crew Successfully Splashes Down After 3-Day Space Trip
Diaz told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench, “He was listening to all these idiotic messages that people are bringing out there. He didn’t get vaccinated. It’s a tiny pinch and it is going to save your life at the end of the day.”
Diaz released photos of her brother who has four sons and video that showed him at work inside his food truck, Pizza in FUGA.
She said, “We call him Biggy. Biggy from Biggy Smalls. We are from New York. He has got a big heart. He is well known in the pizza truck community and the food truck community. He goes all over from Haulover to Pelican Harbor. Now we are trying to keep his pizza business afloat.”
Diaz said the condition of her brother who turns 56 in two weeks took a terrible turn on Friday of last week.
She said, “Friday was the most devastating day for us, the most devastating. He’s only 55. On Friday he was intubated for oxygen. It got so extreme that was either they intubated him or literally without enough oxygen they become brain dead. He started having heart palpitations and his heart rate went up to 150 Friday morning so it was an emergency situation that was life or death.”
“This was one of the last words before he was intubated. Help me. This is not a joke,” said Diaz.
Diaz thinks her brother contracted the virus a month ago.
“We all went out to dinner on the July 4th weekend. Seven of us and all 7 of us caught the virus and five of us are vaccinated,” said Diaz. She said her brother was the only adult who was not vaccinated.
“Had he been vaccinated he would not be in the hospital and he has underlying conditions,” she said. “He had a stroke in February and he has high blood pressure. So he is not in the best of health.”READ MORE: Massive Search Underway For Brian Laundrie, Fiancé Of Missing Florida Woman Gabby Petito
She said, “I have learned to use this motto. It is either the vaccine or the ventilator. If you take the vaccine and you get the virus, you have mild symptoms. The vaccine is something that is going to save your life. It is something that is going to keep you out of the ICU unit where my brother is now intubated and clinging to life. The vaccine is the only thing that is going to keep you out of the ICU unit at this time.”
Diaz said the family had started a GoFundMe page on her brother’s behalf to help out with her brother’s rent and out of pocket medical bills.
The GoFundMe page is titled “Help Ray aka Biggie Pizza en FUGA.” As of late Tuesday afternoon, it had raised $4,445 out of a $10,000 goal.
Click here, if you would like to help.
Diaz said she her family felt helpless.
She said, “It’s tough for us not to be able to help our brother.”
Diaz said their 82-year-old mother was flying to Miami from the Dominican Republic but she is probably not going to be able to see her son because he is in the Intensive Care Unit at Mercy Hospital.
She said a doctor told her that her brother was in critical condition.
On Monday, new figures released by Miami-Dade showed that 89% of new COVID.
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