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Couple die of COVID-19 weeks before wedding

Published: Nov. 16, 2021 at 1:05 AM MST
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CHICAGO (WLS) - A Chicago couple planned to get their COVID-19 vaccines before their wedding, but before they could do so, the two caught the virus and ended up dying one week apart.

Luis Suarez and Norma Franco, who had been a couple for years, were finally going to make it official and marry just after Thanksgiving. But COVID-19 had other plans. Instead of a wedding, family members are now planning a memorial service after both died of the virus last month.

“She was his soul mate, I’m gonna be honest with you. I felt the way they loved each other,” said the couple’s son, Angel Santos.

Luis Suarez and Norma Franco, a couple for years, were going to marry just after Thanksgiving....
Luis Suarez and Norma Franco, a couple for years, were going to marry just after Thanksgiving. Instead, both unvaccinated, they caught COVID-19 and died one week apart.(Source: Family photos, WLS via CNN)

Santos says his parents were not vaccinated but were planning to get the shot, so they could visit with family at their wedding. It was too late, however. Both came down with COVID-19 and both were hospitalized.

Because Suarez and Franco were not married yet, once they got sick, they were separated in the hospital and unable to get information on or even communicate with each other.

Both were eventually put on life support. They died one week apart.

“It feels like a Romeo and Juliet story. It really does because… I feel like they were meant to be this whole time. Right when it’s supposed to happen, something tragic like this happens,” stepdaughter Imelda Gambia said.

A joint funeral service was recently held for Suarez and Franco. She was dressed in her wedding gown and he in a white suit. Both wore the wedding rings they would have exchanged.

Family members are speaking out now in the hope that the couple’s story will convince others to get vaccinated.

“They’re all worried about the side effects. Side effects of losing a family member that way, it’s terrible. That’s what will happen if you guys don’t get vaccinated,” Santos said.

Copyright 2021 WLS via CNN Newsource. All rights reserved.