‘A huge piece of me is missing’: Family in mourning after Ridgefield man dies of coronavirus


RIDGEFIELD, Conn. (WTNH) – Sitting on their couch at 4:30 on a Wednesday night talking about the death of their loved one was not ideal for the Spano women.

They sat down with News 8’s Amber Diaz to talk about their son and brother Daniel. He was a young personal trainer, born and raised in Ridgefield. 

They said by all accounts, he was the picture of health until he came down with coronavirus symptoms nearly three weeks ago.

Days later, he was diagnosed with the virus and told to quarantine.

As the days went on, Daniel progressively got worse. 

“He had a fever of 100.4, he started feeling nauseous, vomiting,” his sister Melissa said. “They prescribed him a Z-Pak, anti-nausea medication.”

Then his mother, Mary Ann, received a distressing call one afternoon. It was Daniel.

“He called me, ‘Mom, mom, I can’t, I can’t. I said, ‘You cant what? You can’t breathe? He said yeah, so we jumped up; we ran there, called an ambulance on our way.”

He was taken to Norwalk Hospital and placed on a ventilator. Days later, Daniel lost his battle. He was just 30-years-old.

“A huge piece of me is missing,” Melissa said.

“Before he hung up the phone, I wanted to say ‘I love you, Dan,’ but the phone went click, and I didn’t have a chance to say that to him,” his mother continued.

The lovely women in his life said they were live on an iPad talking to Daniel as he passed. 

“I hope he wasn’t in pain,” his sister said. “I hope he wasn’t suffering, and I hope he knew how much we loved him. We wanted to be there with him but we couldn’t. I hope he heard all of us saying goodbye to him.”

Melissa has a daughter who will be 3-months-old this week.

“He just loved her to pieces, and it just breaks my heart because I was gonna make him her godfather,” she cried. “We never had the opportunity to do that.”

As they sat there for their virtual interview, they made no regrets with a final message you viewers on their couches at home.

Mary Ann took a deep breath and said, “If they [people] have the virus and they are 28 days clear of it, please go donate your plasma because no one should endure what we’re enduring now. You can help somebody; you can save a life.”

RELATED: UConn Health to use plasma testing for potential coronavirus treatment

Dr. Rhonda Klein, a dermatologist who recently got over coronavirus, was actually trying to donate her plasma to save Daniel’s life.

By the time she was through with the process, it was too late.

“There was a 30-year-old in the ICU in Norwalk that I was trying to donate for,” Klein told News 8’s Kent Pierce. “Unfortunately, he passed away before he was able to receive a plasma donation.”

Daniel had a business with his best friend from college. It is called GYMGUYZ, and they have locations in Westchester County and Southern Fairfield County.

A GoFundMe page has been created to help the family with medical costs.

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