PHOENIX — It's another devastating blow to the Chandler community after parents of a Chandler High School student died just hours apart from COVID-19.
It's a pain all too familiar for Chandler High School swim coach Bob Chen.
"It’s a pretty crippling blow," he says Friday. "Unfortunately, it seems that we’ve been pretty well-versed in mobilizing."
According to family updates, booster club parents Tony and Lisa Vasquez died from COVID-19 just one day apart on Dec. 2 and 3, respectively.
They left behind their daughter Brisa, who Chen says is a senior and swim team captain.
"None of us can replicate what Tony and Lisa were and meant for Brisa," he says.
"Tony and Lisa were the definition and embodiment of love and support. If there’s anything they should be remembered for it’s how selfless they were."
Parents so involved, it’s hard to believe they’re gone.
"To lose both in the quick succession that we did was a real gut punch," Chen says.
Both Tony and Lisa were hospitalized in November. Chen says they were talking and texting at first until conditions changed.
"It turned bad very quickly," he says. "Kind of caught everybody off guard, how cruel this virus can be and how it doesn’t discriminate."
Chen took over as swim coach just a couple months ago after the previous coach, Kerry Croswhite, died after his tough fight with COVID-19.
On Saturday, the school community dedicated their pool and aquatic center to the beloved coach.
"He's made this everlasting impact," says Croswhite's widow Laurie at the dedication. "I know he's looking down now."
To help the Vasquez family, you can head to their GoFundMe page.
For more updates on COVID-19 and other stories, subscribe to the 12 News YouTube channel.