Miguel Gutierrez Jr.
Miguel Gutierrez Jr.
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These “last responders” deal with the bodies as coronavirus deaths surge in the Rio Grande Valley

These “last responders” deal with the bodies as coronavirus deaths surge in the Rio Grande Valley

Reporting and writing by Shannon Najmabadi, photography by Miguel Gutierrez Jr.McALLEN— Juan Lopez is in the ambulance bay of a McAllen hospital, zipping a gauzy blue jumpsuit over a Polo button-down and work slacks. Two well-worn stretchers are in the back of his Cadillac Escalade, a pack of Marlboros near the gear shift.It’s Saturday morning in South Texas, and the corpse of a 60-something-year-old needs to get to a funeral home — specifically, a refrigerated truck behind a funeral home that’s run out of storage space. The deceased coronavirus patient goes in the back of the Escalade, and...

July 21, 2020
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“How many more are coming?” What it’s like inside hospitals as coronavirus grips Texas’ Rio Grande Valley

“How many more are coming?” What it’s like inside hospitals as coronavirus grips Texas’ Rio Grande Valley

Reporting and writing by Shannon Najmabadi, photography by Miguel Gutierrez Jr.*correction appendedEDINBURG — At midnight in South Texas, nearly every bed is full in a low-slung building housing some of the sickest COVID-19 patients near the U.S.-Mexico border.Many patients in this unit, a hospice center at Doctors Hospital at Renaissance remade into a coronavirus ward, are sedated, intubated and attached by a tangle of cords to the whirring and beeping machines keeping them alive. Some are in individual rooms; dozens more are lined up in vacated bay divided into a grid by curtains to...

July 2, 2020
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“How many more are coming?” What it’s like inside hospitals as coronavirus grips Texas’ Rio Grande Valley

“How many more are coming?” What it’s like inside hospitals as coronavirus grips Texas’ Rio Grande Valley

Reporting and writing by Shannon Najmabadi, photography by Miguel Gutierrez Jr.EDINBURG — At midnight in South Texas, nearly every bed is full in a low-slung building housing some of the sickest COVID-19 patients near the U.S.-Mexico border.Many patients in this unit, a hospice center at Doctors Hospital at Renaissance remade into a coronavirus ward, are sedated, intubated and attached by a tangle of cords to the whirring and beeping machines keeping them alive. Some are in individual rooms; dozens more are lined up in vacated bay divided into a grid by curtains to separate beds.“How many...

July 2, 2020
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