‘Don’t let your guard down,’ family warns after parents lose battle to COVID-19

Coronavirus

HONOLULU (KHON2) — Basilo “Roy” and Angeline “Angie” Camello were married back in 1960 and remained together until they both contracted COVID-19 in August.

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The high school sweethearts had four children, eight grandchildren, and nine great-grandchildren.

Their children said the Waipahu couple did everything together.

“They never did anything on their own except for golf, my dad loved golf, so he would go out with his friends, and my mom loved her Korean drama so she would go out and meet her friends for Korean drama luncheons,” explained son Craig Camello.

“Mom was always at his side, always,” he said.

Their children said they were devoted to their church, community and family.

“For them, they felt what they gave of their lives to all of us, was fulfilled,” said Craig. “And that was what God wanted them to do, is to fulfill the lives of ones that you love, the ones that you touch, the people that you meet, and they’ve met a lot of people throughout their lives. And they never stopped.”

“They were great, great parents. They were loving and giving and shared everything of what they had,” explained their son Charles. “I miss them.”

When the pandemic began in March, their daughter Cheryl gave them projects to do at home.

“I sent my mom an email and said you can make masks, and she was doing that because she had a lot of scrap material at home laying around. And she would make masks for everybody,” Cheryl said.

“She would be mailing the masks to family all across the mainland with all the Hawaiian prints and that’s what she liked doing,” she continued.

She said her dad liked to plant and she would have him plant in the yard.

“Just so they would remain home and busy,” she said.

In June, when inter-island travel reopened briefly, Craig flew from the Big Island to Honolulu to surprise his parents for Father’s Day.

The last day he saw his parents was the following morning.

“We talked and talked in a way that you know what’s to come in the next few days or in the next few months, because we’re in the pandemic, we’re in this middle of a virus and who knows what will happen,” Craig said.

“And who would have known that would have been my last day, I see them physically,” he continued.

He said he waved to his mom from the driveway and his dad dropped him off at the airport. He and his dad gave each other a fist bump like they always did before.

“The fist bump is still with me, and it will never leave,” Craig said crying. “But I know, deep in my heart, no matter where I am, they always pray for us.”

In August, the virus would find the happily married couple.

“No matter how much mom disinfected or washed their hands, it was just so unknown where the virus is at,” Cheryl said.

The couple contracted the virus from a close source that they came in contact with.

On Aug. 21, Roy and Angie tested positive for COVID-19 and were taken to the hospital.

On Aug. 25, Angie went on a ventilator. “That was the last time I heard her voice,” said Cheryl.

On Sept. 1, Roy went on a ventilator.

“11 days later, on Sept. 11, my dad took his first breath in heaven,” Cheryl said.

Angie remained on a ventilator until she passed away on Oct. 18.

“To lose both parents under one pandemic is heart-wrenching. I’m broken, I feel shattered,” Cheryl said.

“There are so many people that don’t believe that they’re going to catch the virus or they might be transmitting the virus,” explained Craig. “They believe that this is just one of those illnesses out there, then it’ll pass, it’ll pass, but to what, to the countless lives that we are losing? To family members, loved ones that we are losing? It’s not worth it. It’s not.”

“Even listening to the Lieutenant Governor, he said ‘this is the sacrifice we have to make.’ And in order for us to control this virus, we have to change our behaviors, we need to wear a mask, we need to gather in small groups, we need not gather in big groups,” Craig continued.

Last week, Cheryl said she drove by Ala Moana Beach Park and saw parties and large groups gathering under tents.

“Like, why? Why are you doing that? This disease is dangerous, it’s hurtful and it’s hurtful for the people who are left behind,” Cheryl said.  

“Don’t let your guard down and don’t do any unnecessary gathering. You can wait. It’s just a small sacrifice,” she continued.

Craig said he was proud of his parents and wanted to share their story because many of their close family members were unable to say goodbye to them.

The cousins, the aunties, the nephews who won’t have an opportunity to say their last goodbyes to mom and dad. So, we felt this is something that we would honor them with,” he said.

“My dad always said, ‘I live today as if it’s my last day of my life,’” Craig said.

The family said they are happy the two of them are together in heaven and it has been difficult not being able to have a large gathering to celebrate their lives.

They want people to know the virus is real and it can quickly change people’s lives.

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