“He was only 42 years old. No one understands how this can happen to somebody this young,” said Thais Kano, Ronaldo Ferrari’s stepdaughter.
On Thursday, NBC Connecticut spoke with Kano about the loss of her stepfather earlier this month.
The family says Ronaldo came down with COVID-19 not long after a shift cleaning a supermarket.
“Me and mom didn’t want him to go. Like it’s not worth going to these stores even if they want us to finish this job. But they insisted on him going and he thought he was going to be OK,” said Thais.
Ronaldo was born in Brazil and moved to the U.S. when he was 17 in search of a better future.
Later he found the love of his life, Thais’ mom.
They lived in Berlin. He worked long hours at jobs and was devoted to his friends and family, including his own two children.
“Everybody loved him everywhere he’d go, everywhere he went,” said Thais.
After that last cleaning shift, Ronaldo became sick and many in the family later did too, including Thais.
Things got worse for him and eventually he ended up at Hartford Hospital, where the family says there was little that could be done to save him.
“Because we can’t go in the hospital to say our last goodbyes and they turned off the machine as we watched on FaceTime,” said Thais.
Last week Ronaldo’s funeral was held.
Most of his many friends and family viewed it online since the funeral home only allowed a small group to be present.
“It was horrible because we couldn’t hug each other. People came to give condolences to my mom and there couldn’t be any touching,” said Thais.
There is still disbelief someone who had been so happy and healthy is now gone just weeks after being infected with the coronavirus.
“It makes you take it more seriously, especially when you’re young and you really think you’re just going to get a little flu. You never know what this virus will do,” said Thais.
The family urges everyone to follow the advice we’ve heard so often: wash your hands frequently, social distance and stay at home.