Man, 40, dies ‘unable to breathe’ in Miami Beach after coronavirus infection

MIAMI – Israel Carrera loved to dance, and he adopted a healthy lifestyle while living in Miami Beach. This is why his friends and family still couldn’t believe on Friday that the energetic 40-year-old man had become a victim of the coronavirus pandemic.

His boyfriend, Franco Consquista, still remembers how joyful he was during the Winter Party Festival in South Beach earlier this month. But within two or three days of attending the festival, they were both experiencing fatigue.

“We had a cold and then he had problems breathing, so he couldn’t breathe," Consquista said. “He went to the hospital.”

Consquista said he still can’t believe COVID-19, a respiratory illness caused by the new coronavirus, had killed Carrera. With a bright future ahead of him, he said Carrera died on Thursday at Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach.

“We all thought he was going to get out of there,” Consquista said.

Conquista said Carrera fought for his life for nine days. He said Carrera showed signs of improvement and his loved ones were convinced that he was going to get better.

“It’s just not fair,” Consquista said. “It’s just not fair to die like this. He was so charming and kind. His energy was incredible."

Consquista said Carrera, who attended the Universidad de Ciencias Médicas de la Habana in Cuba, often worked 13-hour days to help his mother, who still lives in Cuba.

Consquista said he and Carrera’s loved ones are still trying to make sense of the loss. He said he is speaking out to help save lives during the pandemic.

“Just because this didn’t affect you directly, it doesn’t mean this virus doesn’t exist,” Consquista said. “It doesn’t mean people are not suffering. It doesn’t mean people are not dying. People are suffering and people are dying, so stay in, stay safe. Don’t spread the virus!”

According to the Florida Department of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed more than 3,000 COVID-19 cases in Florida. Miami-Dade is the county in the state with the most cases. More than 1,580 patients have died of the disease in the U.S., according to the CDC.

About the Authors:

Christian De La Rosa joined Local 10 News in April 2017 after spending time as a reporter and anchor in Atlanta, San Diego, Orlando and Panama City Beach.

The Emmy Award-winning journalist joined the Local 10 News team in 2013. She wrote for the Miami Herald for more than 9 years and won a Green Eyeshade Award.