DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – A North Texas family is facing a double-tragedy from COVID-19.
Retired Lt. Randy Luper, who came from a family of firefighters, died of COVID-19 Saturday, July 24 along with his daughter-in-law after multiple family members became infected.READ MORE: Texas Secretary Of State's Office Announces Full Forensic Audit Of 2020 General Election in Four Texas Counties
“If you ever asked about Randy Luper, everyone knew who he was,” said David Lindsey, a former colleague. “He took himself lightly, but he was a good paramedic, and whenever he made lieutenant and moved to Oak Cliff, everyone who worked under him just had real good things to say about him.”
He, his son, and his daughter-in-law, Vanessa, were all hospitalized with COVID-19.
His wife and two grandchildren also tested positive.
While his son recovered and is now home, Lt. Luper and Vanessa both died within hours of each other.READ MORE: Juan Navarro, Jr. Sentenced To 35+ Years For Pornographic Images Of Six-Year-Olds
“They were in the same hallway,” Lindsey said. “Randy was in the ICU unit, and he had been on a ventilator. Vanessa’s numbers had been dropping pretty rapidly also, but she was right down the hallway, and she passed 6 hours after Randy did.”
The tight-knit firefighting community is grieving along with the Luper family and started a fundraising account to cover funeral expenses.
It’s already raised more than $9,000.
The Todd Krodle Foundation and the Dallas Firefighters Association are also each contributing $3,000.
Lindsey said it’s what firefighting families do in times of need.MORE NEWS: 'Reset Center' Replaces School Suspension At Dallas ISD School
“We rally around each other. Whenever somebody is going through a hard time, all of us are going through a hard time. It wasn’t a matter of if we were going to help them, it was how.”