A couple from California died just one day apart from each other due to coronavirus complications, leaving behind five young children who are now in the hands of their step-sister.
60-yeara-old Los Angeles resident Humberto Ruelas-Rivas died of coronavirus just a week after he was taken to a local hospital, his daughter Maria Ruelas shared with KTLA. But not long after his death, Ruelas-Rivas’ wife, 38-year-old Karina Bonilla, died of the virus hours later.
“Within six days of them being admitted, I lost my father. And within eight hours, I lost my stepmother,” Ruelas shared with KTLA through tears. “And now I have five kids.”
Ruelas, 35, is now the one who will be raising her five siblings, whose ages range from 2 to 17. Her 30-year-old sister was also diagnosed with coronavirus and suffered a stroke. Ruelas says her sister is still hospitalized.
“It’s gonna be a struggle,” Ruelas, who is now planning to legally adopt her siblings, shared. “I don’t have children of my own and now I know maybe this is the reason why.”
It is not clear if either Ruelas-Rivas or Bonilla suffered from any pre-existing medical conditions prior to contracting the virus.
The family has since started a GoFundMe campaign to aid Ruelas care for her siblings and as of Wednesday afternoon, raised almost $92,000.
“Your prayers and any type of contribution you can provide will be immensely appreciated,” a description on the donation page reads. “Dear Lord, we pray that you protect and guide these innocent children who are left to fend for themselves.”
“May the souls of Karina and Humberto be Resting in eternal Peace,” it continues. “May the family find the strength to move past this tragedy.”
Ruelas believes Bonilla was the first to contract the disease.
“She went to work and in less than a week she started presenting symptoms,” Ruelas revealed to KTLA. “She went home and then my father started getting sick.”
With a background in the creative and educational fields, Amelia Finefrock is freelance writer, singer-songwriter and nanny based in Chicago.
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