A four-year-old boy has lost both his parents to COVID-19 within a few months.
Raiden Gonzalez, from San Antonio in Texas, has been told by his grandmother that his mum and dad are “now angels, watching over us and protecting us”.
His mother Mariah, a teacher, died last month while his father, Adan, lost his life in the summer.
Raiden’s fifth birthday is later this month. Pic: Gonzalez family
Mr Gonzalez, a truck driver, was treated in hospital after testing positive for coronavirus on 3 June.
Doctors said he was one of the two most unwell patients they had seen, Raiden’s maternal grandmother, Rozie Salinas, said.
He died on 26 June at the age of 33.
His wife, 29, died suddenly on 5 October, hours after beginning to feel ill.
“She went via ambulance Monday evening around nine and by 8.15am on Tuesday she was gone,” Raiden’s great aunt, Margie Bryant, said.
Days later, Ms Salinas got a call from the hospital telling her that her daughter had tested positive for COVID-19.
Mrs Gonzalez had wanted to make a memorial for her husband, “but never got to it”.
Ms Salinas said she is planning to organise one for both her daughter and son-in-law.
Adan and Mariah Gonzalez died just months apart. Pic: Rozie Salinas
Raiden “misses his mom since he was a mama’s boy”, Ms Salinas said.
“Just this morning he told me he just wanted her back.”
Raiden goes to a pre-kindergarten where his mother worked.
“I kept him at that same preschool,” his grandmother said. “They take really good care of him. They know what his situation is.”
There will be a dinosaur theme for Raiden’s fifth birthday, later this month.
Raiden wants his mum back, his grandmother says. Pic: Gonzalez family
Ms Salinas and her sister have organised a drive-by celebration involving “several truck clubs, bikers, Mustang clubs, classic cars, Jeep clubs, plus the fire department”.
It is going to be a “huge turnout”, she said.
Raiden is what “keeps me going”, Ms Salinas said, “just with his friendly and constant reminders telling me how much he loves me”.
She added: “He’s always thanking me for taking care of him, but I’ve just got to think about him.
“It’s a hard situation to process.”