TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — The United States marked a grim milestone Thursday.
In the Tampa Bay area, nearly 18,000 people died from the virus. Daniel Madry is one of those people.
“It’s been a traumatizing experience losing my dad to COVID and seeing what he went through in his final days and to realize there’s so many other people that experienced what I went through, it’s crazy,” his son Mike Madry said.
Mike Madry said his dad went out of his way to help people.
“He really was on a mission to improve the lives of other people,” Madry said.
At 61-years-old, the Apollo Beach resident was in good shape. However, he was immunocompromised. Doctors diagnosed Madry with a mild form of leukemia in 2020. Last August, he died days after getting COVID-19. He was fully vaccinated.
“He worked out consistently, had an amazing diet that was better than mine and it just it caught us by surprise,” Madry said.
Data from the CDC showed 17,976 Tampa Bay residents have died from the coronavirus since the start of the pandemic.
“It puts into perspective when you realize your dad was just one of one million people that have lost their lives,” Madry said.
USF Health’s Dr. Michael Teng said the new Omicron subvariant BA.2.12.1 is driving up new COVID cases, including in Florida.
He said the tools are there to keep transmission low, from getting vaccinated to wearing a mask.
“This million death mark is pretty somber, especially since a lot of them happened after we got vaccines,” Teng said. “Masking and good ventilation and distancing, these help prevent transmission we just have to be serious about using them.
Madry said his dad was never warned the vaccine wouldn’t work for him. He said he wants people to realize how at-risk immunocompromised people still are.
“While it might be over for somebody like me who’s healthy with no preexisting conditions, COVID is still a real thing to these immunocompromised people and they have to be fearful for their lives,” Madry said.