High school sweethearts Martin and Trina Daniel never missed their kids soccer games.
"They went to all of their soccer games, every weekend," their niece, Melanie Daniel said.
"No matter where the games were, they were there. They (the kids) even stayed at our house a few times during the season," she said.
The couple, who’d been married for 22 years and lived in Savannah, thought they’d come down with the common cold in July. They were taking over the counter medicine and drinking fluids.
"I got a call from his wife on the 6th," Martin’s brother, Homer Daniel remembered. "She said martin was being worked on by the EMTS and that he was probably gone."
Daniel says his sister in law, Trina sounded a tad out of breath on the phone, but family didn’t expect another call saying she died too, hours after her husband and just days after staying home sick.
Doctors say they both died of the coronavirus, at a time when the delta variant started to surge.
The Daniels say they don’t know how or where the couple contracted the deadly disease, but they’re grateful the children they leave behind recovered.
"If any way possible you need to take that shot," Daniel said.
Loved ones say the couple wasn’t vaccinated.
"Uncle Martin was a chemist," his niece remembered. "He went to Tuskegee, so a part of our hesitancy is because we know what happened with the US syphilis study, so a lot of our hesitancy came from us not wanting to be an experiment to see if it would work or wouldn't.
"But the issues surrounding this and how quickly people are dying from the delta variant, we are very happy that we did make the decision to get vaccinated because our chances vaccinated versus not are drastic," she said.
The couple leaves behind two teenagers— Miles and Marina.
Melanie Daniel and her husband are now their legal guardians, preparing to pay for Miles’ college, Marina’s extracurricular activities while juggling three young kids of their own.
"It gives me something to make sure that they make their parents proud," she said.
The family now hopes others learn from their tragedy as they cling together for the kids’ future.
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