‘Heartbreaking’: Jacksonville man loses uncle in India to COVID as nation struggles

Local families left hoping for help to arrive soon for loved ones in India

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The coronavirus outbreak in India is hitting close to home for some families in Jacksonville.

Tanmay Bhatt, who lives in the River City, said his uncle became sick with COVID in India and was taken to a hospital. He said he was stable for a little while but then his condition worsened, and he passed away.

“He was relatively healthy. He didn’t have any underlying conditions,” Bhatt told News4Jax Saturday as he played with his children on a playground in Jacksonville with a heavy heart, his mind on his family members across the globe in India, who are dealing with the loss of his uncle, Chandresh Vyas.

The coronavirus outbreak in India is hitting close to home for some families in Jacksonville. (WJXT)

Bhatt’s phone still holds the last conversation he had with his uncle, while Chandresh lay in the hospital hooked up to a ventilator.

Chandresh wrote: “I can’t talk. I have a mask. Thank you so much.” His last message to his family in Jacksonville: “I love you guys.”

“It’s just really heartbreaking, to have it that close to home,” Bhatt said.

Bhatt said he will miss his uncle’s smile most of all.


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