PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- A Phoenix-area podcaster who hosted a show focused on helping others has died from COVID-19. Daniel Hoyer was only 33 years old. His family does not want his death to be in vain.
Family members say Daniel, who also went by the name "Danyo," enjoyed hosting the Tita and Danyo Podcast, tackling topics like youth mentorship and the justice system. Hoyer’s wife and co-host, Tita Ramos Hoyer, says it was easy to fall in love with him and his giving spirit.
"We based our show on community awareness," says Tita. "To support the community, give back."
Daniel and Tita got sick with COVID-19 around Christmas. Hoyer wound up in a hospital, and eventually, on a ventilator.
"He wasn't there," says Hoyer's mother, Jo Ann Dumas-Muhammad. "He was still alive, but he wasn't there."
Dumas-Muhammad admits her son had breathing issues because of his weight, but Tita says her husband rarely ever got sick. Both say they struggled to get updates from the hospital, and because of hospital restrictions amid the pandemic, were not allowed visitation.
It wasn't until Monday, family says, they were allowed just 15 minutes at Hoyer's bedside while dressed in full PPE.
"I touched his head, and I tried to rub his face a little bit," says Tita. "It was hard just to see him lay there."
"I told him fight, fight son, fight with all your might," says Dumas-Muhammad.
Later that day, the family received a call from Banner Thunderbird saying Hoyer had died.
"It's like a dream, and I'm waiting to be wakened up out of this dream," says Dumas-Muhammad.
The family hopes Hoyer, who used his voice to make the world a better place, might still make a great impact. They want his story to encourage others to follow public health guidelines and help prevent more loss.
“We want people to know this is real,” says Tita. “This isn’t over.”