LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- A valley ER nurse who’s spent most of the pandemic helping others, is now struggling to help her own family.
Carissa Hernandez' husband Artor Nazzari died from COVID-19.
He was furloughed from his job so he didn’t have health or life insurance and now medical bills are mounting for his wife and her three young daughters.
"I feel like my entire future has been taken from me," said Hernandez.
Nazzari was her partner in life, parenting and on the dance floor.
"We were both professional dancers. He was a flamenco dancer. Our garage was converted into a dance studio. He exercised every single day," she said.
At 42 years old, she said Nazzari was the picture of health, until May.
He was recovering from an ear surgery at a local hospital and came down with COVID-19.
"At the time we didn’t recognize it being covid symptoms because we were assuming it was related to the ear infection," said Hernandez.
He passed it on to Hernandez and their youngest daughter Arabella. Hernandez said they both had mild cases. Her oldest daughters, Alicia, 10, and Adrianna, 8, didn't catch it which Hernandez said was, "odd."
Hernandez said in June, Nazzari went to the hospital for two days.
"He had bilateral pneumonia ... At that time he never needed oxygen support."
She said he started feeling better. Toward the end of June everyone in the family seemed healthy.
"We thought we were going to be able to resume our life," said Hernandez.
Her husband never fully recovered. Hernandez said she noticed his ankles were swollen and he was bleeding under his skin.
On July 13th, Nazarri went to the ICU at Mountain View Hospital.
"From there it was just a complete and utter rapid decline. From the time he went to the hospital from the time he passed away it was like five days."
Before Nazarri got sick he was laid off from his job as an aircraft inspector with Gulfstream.
"Nobody ever anticipates that someone is going to pass at 42 years old so honestly when he was laid off, it never crossed my mind that oh my gosh we’re losing our life insurance," said Hernandez.
Now as she tries to grieve the loss of her husband, medical bills are adding up.
"I haven’t even given thought about how in the world I’m going to deal with all that yet," she said.
Hernandez said as an ER nurse, she never imagined COVID-19 would reach her homem, especially her husband who didn’t have any underlying health conditions.
"It can happen to you."
She said Nazarri lived for his daughters. It was clear from his last words.
"He made me promise that I would give these girls the best life and I intend to fully fulfill that promise to him."
Hernandez said she's grateful to the doctors and nurses at Mountain View who did everything they could to try to save Nazarri. She said her biggest piece of advice to other families is to take the pandemic seriously and have legal documents in order.
You can donate to the family's GoFundme page here.