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'He wasn’t going to give up': Daughter says Bay City detective battled COVID for a year before he passed away

“There were holidays that we didn’t celebrate because we were waiting for him to come home," Danielle Delgado said about her dad, Detective Juan Delgado.

A Rosenberg family and an entire police department are mourning the loss of Bay City Police Detective Juan Delgado.

Delgado had been fighting COVID-19 for the past year, but the virus finally claimed his life Thursday. 

 At 67 years old, Detective Delgado spent most of his life behind the badge. At 17 years old, he joined the Army. Four years later, he became a police officer. 

“The smile that it brought to his face, the never giving up attitude that he gave all of us," daughter Danielle Delgado said.

He’s worked in Port Lavaca, Wharton, Fort Bend County before joined BCPD in 1997. 

Delgado was an inspiration to so many, especially his three children, all of whom followed in his law enforcement footsteps.

RELATED: Bay City police officer dies after year-long battle with COVID complications

 “There were times we would call him and say, 'Hey daddy, this is what we got. What do you think we should do?' He was like a walking penal code, I tell you," Danielle told KHOU 11.

Her father dedicated his life to protect and serve so when COVID came, that, of course, didn’t stop him. 

 “We would tell him 'Daddy you’re getting older, you need to slow down.' And he would say, 'It’s my job. That’s where I've got to go,'" Danielle said.

He tested positive a year ago, spending almost every day since in seven different hospitals. It's been an entire year of birthdays and holidays from the hospital. 

“There were holidays that we didn’t celebrate because we were waiting for him to come home."

 It was a tough fight with several infections, but Detective Delgado passed away on July 15, exactly a year after he was diagnosed.

“We knew that the time was coming, and he was getting tired," Danielle said. 

 It's a heartbreaking reminder, that this awful virus is still claiming the lives of so many loved ones. 

 “It’s unpredictable, you don’t know what’s going to happen. Just love your family," Danielle said.

 After his passing, Detective Delgado was escorted by police to his hometown, where, soon, he’ll be laid to rest. 

He’s a hero, who beat cancer and overcame many other struggles, but this was one fight he wouldn't win. 

“He had that fighter mindset that he wasn’t going to give up and I think, at the end, it wasn’t his mind that got him, it was his body that got him," his daughter said.

That funeral will be in Wharton and will be open to the public. The date has not yet been set. Because this was a line-of-duty death, the funeral will be with full honors.