‘Had he gotten the vaccine, would this have happened?’: Border agent hospitalized weeks with COVID-19

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EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — A Border Patrol agent’s wife’s worst fears came true as her husband contracted COVID-19 and has been hospitalized since February 14.

Inez Vasquez tells KTSM 9 News her husband, Freddie Vasquez, is an 18-year veteran with the U.S. Border Patrol and has been a canine handler for the past few years.

“It’s been a concern of mine that he’s out there, he’s exposed, I know that he wears his gloves, he wears a mask,” she said.

Freddie Vasquez has been intubated and under sedation, and initially, doctors told his wife that he had several strokes. But doctors have since told her that he did not have multiple strokes but instead had brain inflammation related to COVID-19.

Vasquez family

“He opens his eyes but he’s not tracking movement, he’s not following commands,” said Inez Vasquez after a long pause as she began weeping.

Inez Vasquez says Border Patrol agents are able to register for a vaccine and her husband was waiting to get the Johnson & Johnson dose.

“It’s heartbreaking especially with the vaccine having come out,” she said. “Leaves me to wonder, had he had gotten the vaccine, would this have happened at all? Would it have been as severe?”

“I had told him please get that vaccine. You’re exposed, you’re out there every day and now more so with what we’re seeing with the influx of migrants,” Inez Vasquez said.

Freddie and Inez Vasquez have a 10-year-old daughter and an 8-year-old son. She’s visited her husband every day at the long-term care facility.

She said she plans to leave work to spend more time with him and care for their children.

A close family friend, Monica Gutierrez, also a wife of a Border Patrol agent, started a GoFundMe for the family.

“To ease some of the burdens, to help ease some of the stresses that she had and that she wants to be next to his side. Especially now that we’ve seen through some videos that he’s responding to her voice,” said Monica Gutierrez.

Gutierrez says a prayer run hosted by the U.S. Border Patrol for Freddie Vasquez will be held on Saturday, April 10, at the Eastside Sports Complex starting at 10 a.m.

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