News 8 Exclusive: Waterbury city official uses late brother’s memory to help save lives at COVID pop up clinics

New Haven

WATERBURY, Conn. (WTNH) — In Waterbury, most people know Victor Cuevas as someone who’s always trying to give kids a chance to play and have fun. He’s the director of recreation in the city.

But, on Fridays, you’ll see him serving as part of Mayor Neil O’Leary’s Vaccination Team. Today, he was at the Eastgate Apartments helping to organize a mobile pop up clinic, aimed at taking the COVID-19 vaccine directly to where seniors and people of color live.

He helped to make sure more than a hundred people are protected against the virus. Yes, you might think it makes him feel good to help out. But, you don’t know how good. And that’s because of what COVID-19 has taken from him.

He lost his older brother Edgardo Soto to COVID during the holidays.

Victor showing News 8 text messages he received from his brother days before his death.

“It was my last communication with my brother,” Victor said. “He told me he was coming home for Christmas. On Christmas Day, he went into a coma and he never came back from that coma. And we had to say goodbye to him on the phone. By Facetime. It was probably one of the most painful feelings.”

Victor tells News 8 being part of the mayor’s team to vaccinate hard-to-reach communities like people of color is now a passion for him. He feels his brother right there with him trying to keep others safe from the virus that took Edgardo away.

“I’m doing this with a purpose,” Victor said. “To save lives because if there was a vaccine before December, my brother might’ve been here still. This is why people should get vaccinated. It’s important. This is real.”

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