Update: Local Veteran, Father of 7 Passes After Fighting for Life Due to COVID-19 Complications

Kamari Esquerra


Update: NBC Palm Springs has learned that Army Veteran Cruz Rocha III has passed Wednesday, January 11, 2022 at Desert Regional Medical Center.

The cause of death is unclear, but it is known that Rocha III was suffering from complication with COVID 19.


A local veteran is fighting for his life after suffering complications due to COVID-19. 

“All we want is for him to have a chance, a fighting chance,” said Rosa Ruiz Rocha, Mother of Cruz Rocha. “All we’re doing is praying, constantly praying.”

Cruz Rocha is a son, a husband, and a father of six young children with another little one on the way. His family, who is advocating for the best treatment possible, can’t imagine life without him.

“Devastated, devastated… I mean, this is… it’s very, very hard,” Rocha.

Rocha contracted COVID-19 on Dec. 20. He was able to spend Christmas with his wife and children, but shortly after, he was hospitalized for complications on Dec. 29. On Jan. 3, Rocha was admitted to the ICU. He was later discharged due to limited beds, and readmitted again on Jan. 6.

Rocha, who is 36-years-old, had no prior health conditions. His family says he has always been a healthy and happy family man. 

“I used to tell him, ‘You’re protecting us’. Now I tell him that it’s our turn to help him,” said Rocha. “We’re just hoping, praying that what they’re doing at Desert now is going to help him.”

Since he has been intubated, his family hasn’t been able to see or speak to him. 

“Not being able to be in the room with him, not being able to touch him, tell him how much you love him and hug him,” said Rocha. 

Rocha is currently hospitalized at Desert Regional Medical Center where he remains in critical condition. The family has set up a GoFundMe to help with medical expenses for his wife and children. They are hoping to transfer him to a hospital that offers ECMO services, which they say would give him the greatest chance of survival… 

They are looking forward to wrapping their arms around him- not ‘if’ – but ‘when’ he is better. 

“Miracles do happen,” said Rocha. “We all love him and he is strong and God-willing, we will have him home.”

To support the Rocha family, visit the link here.

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