SAN ANTONIO (KABB/WOAI) - A young boy in Texas is preparing for his 5th birthday, but he has to celebrate without the two most important people in his life after both his parents died from COVID-19.
Raiden Gonzalez, 4, laughs and plays with his favorite toys, but at his young age, the boy is already having to deal with two big losses. His mother, Mariah Gonzalez, and father, Adan Gonzalez, lost their battles to COVID-19 within 100 days of each other.
“With Raiden being left behind, you know, it’s very hard,” said Raiden’s grandmother, Rozie Salinas.
Adan Gonzalez was exposed to the virus while at work, according to his family. He tested positive June 3 and was hospitalized June 9.
“They did say he was one of the two sickest in the hospital,” Salinas said.
He died June 26 after spending nearly a month in the intensive care unit.
As months went by, Mariah Gonzalez was in mourning, but she was healthy – until Oct. 5. She went to the hospital Monday night and died by the next morning, according to her family.
The loss of the couple has forever impacted their 4-year-old son.
“He says he wants to talk like him. He wants to be like him,” said Raiden’s great aunt, Margie Bryant. “A couple of days ago, he said he wishes he could bring her back.”
With his birthday right around the corner on Nov. 22, Raiden has been upset his parents can’t celebrate with him. The family hopes to lift his spirits with a drive-thru “roar and wave” parade, complete with firetrucks.
As Raiden and his family mourn their losses, they also hope the community will do their part to slow the spread of the coronavirus. They are urging people to wear masks and stay safe.
“We’ve lost two people now to COVID-19, and I can’t emphasize enough the severity, the seriousness and the hurt that this pandemic can cause. So, wear your mask, be safe. We can’t stress that enough,” Bryant said.
A GoFundMe set up for the family has raised more than $140,000.