Four-year-old loses both parents to COVID-19: 'They're angels now'

Picture: Facebook
Picture: Facebook 

A little boy in Texas is now facing life without his parents, after they died just months apart from one another after contracting COVID-19. 

Raiden Gonzalez, four, is now being cared for by his grandmother Rozie Salinas, who told NBC News that the little boy was devastated by the loss of his dad Adan and mum Mariah Gonzalez, her daughter. 

"He misses his mum since he was a mama's boy," Salinas told NBC News, "Just this morning he told me that he wishes he had his mum back and he just wanted her back."

"I mean, what do I tell him? You know, so I just told him that they're now angels watching over us and protecting us."

Adan, a truck driver, was the first to contract the deadly virus and was hospitalised in early June. He never made it home and died on June 26, aged just 33. 

While the family were grieving the loss, Mariah, a pre-school teacher, also began to feel ill and died on October 25, aged 29.. Salinas said Mariah's death was sudden and came before her diagnosis had even been confirmed. 

Texas has been one of the hardest hit states by the pandemic and has seen more than 1.1 million cases and more than 20,000 deaths so far. That's compared to Australia's total case number of just over 27,700 and 907 deaths. 

Now, ahead of his November 28 birthday, his family are planning to throw him a big, Covid-safe, drive-by celebration to bring him some much needed joy. 

"We have several truck clubs, bikers, Mustang clubs, classic cars, Jeep clubs, plus the fire department. It's going to be a huge turnout," Salinas said.

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The grandmother is also planning a a memorial for both her daughter and Adan, whose deaths she is also struggling to come to terms with," she told NBC.

"He's what keeps me going, just with his friendly and constant reminders telling me how much he loves me. He's always thanking me for taking care of him, but I've just got to think about him." 

​A fundraiser for the family has so far raised more than $181,000, with many who donated paying tribute to the couple, including parents of the children Mariah cared for.

"Max and Teddy were blessed to have Ms Mariah welcome them to school every morning with smiles and hugs. She will be dearly missed by all," wrote one.

"Thank you for being such a wonderful teacher & role model to our daughter. Your family is in our thoughts," said another parent. 

"Heartbreaking - Wishing all the best and sending strength to this family. Happy Birthday buddy! Everyone wear a mask and stay safe!," another said.