Chicago family loses grandfather, father to COVID within a week; community raises $40K to help

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Wednesday, January 13, 2021
Phuoc and Hung Nguyen.
wls-Family provided photo

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A Chicago family is mourning the deaths of two loved ones from COVID-19 within a week.

Hung Nguyen was the rock of a very close family. His father, Phuoc, died from COVID-19 in a hospital a little over a week ago. Hung was also hospitalized and on a ventilator at Community First Medical Center on the city's Northwest Side, clinging to life as his family held services for his father. Minutes after the service ended, Hung also died.

"It was very spiritual," Trang Nguyen said. "My dad was able to give everything he got to his final, last breath."

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Trang's father brought the family to Chicago to escape Vietnam in the early 1990s. Hung had to learn a new language and culture, but this is where he met his future wife, got a master's degree in civil engineering and raised three children.

The family is now devastated by the loss of both patriarchs at once, but they've been raised up by the community, which has supported them and raised about $40,000 to help with medical expenses.

"When my grandfather passed away, we really got to see the amount of people that he personally touched," Trang said.

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The entire family shared a house on the Northwest Side, and everyone in the house tested positive for COVID-19. The symptoms were most severe for Phuoc and Hung.

"It was pretty difficult with my dad quarantining in the master bedroom and my mother going into my brother's room," Trang said.

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They also struggled to communicate with both men, unable to visit them in-person at the hospital. They now want to make sure others understand how serious the virus can be.

"Take this so, so seriously to make sure we're safe and those around us are safe," Trang said.