AUSTIN (KXAN) — With tears in her eyes, Rosalina De Paz cradles the last photo she has of her son, Filiberto Morales. She later places it among the candles, flowers and other pictures that make up a moving memorial to him in the corner of her living room.
While looking at the pictures of her 36-year-old son, she said, “I wish I could be able to tell my son he left a huge, empty hole in my soul because of the fact that I lost him. I will never be able to forget about him. He’ll always be in my mind, my heart, my soul.”
Morales, of Round Rock, died at a Temple hospital on June 28, two days after he was severely injured during the explosion at Coryell Memorial Hospital in Gatesville. Authorities said the blast killed two and injured 14 others who were working on an expansion at the back side of the building.
The day the explosion happened, Morales’ 14-year-old brother, Jahid, said a friend came to the door with news that changed his whole family’s world.
“I was scared and shocked,” Jahid said. “I couldn’t believe that that happened to my brother.”
Jahid said fun memories of his kind, older brother helps him set aside some of the sadness and frustration that he and his family are also dealing with right now. “Each of our birthdays,” he said, “he was always there and behind us in pictures and trying to push us into the cake.”
Family members said Morales went to the hospital to work on an air conditioner. Since the explosion, they have not heard from his employer, Network Controls, or anyone else about what happened. Not knowing anything, De Paz said, has had a terrible effect.
“I’m not able to eat. I’m not able to sleep,” she said. “I have to go to the psychologist for help because it’s weighing down on me.”
While they wait for answers, the family finds some comfort knowing that Morales is still helping others. They said his organs have now been donated. “I would love to meet the recipient of the organs,” De Paz said, “just to know that, in their body, there’s a little piece of my son.”
Family members said Morales married his wife six months before the explosion happened. He is also survived by five brothers and sisters as well as an 11-year-old son.
The cause of the hospital explosion remains under investigation.
Hear more from the victim’s family on KXAN News at 5 p.m.