Isaiah Garcia, 14, revealed to ABC13 how burying his mother earlier this month was one of the most painful experiences of his life. Little did he know that his father would pass soon after.
“I didn’t get to say goodbye to my mom or my dad now, and that’s what hurt me the most right now,” the teen told ABC13. Naomi Esquivel, the boy’s mother, was hospitalized for just one day when she died from the virus on July 2.
The 39-year-old mother also left behind an 11-year-old son, Nathan, and husband of 24 years, Carlos Garcia, 44.
Less than two weeks later, Carlos was recovering from the virus when he was admitted to the hospital for kidney failure. And despite being under constant care, Carlos passed suddenly, just like Naomi, on July 17. Nurses found him unresponsive in his hospital bed where he allegedly died of oxygen deprivation.
“He had just spoken to his son at 11 o’clock,” the boys’ uncle, Jacob Mendoza, told ABC13. “They pronounced him dead at 12:24.”
The loss of their father broke the boys as they had been orphaned in the span of just two weeks.
Thankfully, the brothers will be raised by Mendoza who has four other children.”I love them with all my heart and I know this is what their parents would’ve wanted was for me take them in,” he shared.
And while they are heartbroken, the boys are thankful for their family’s open arms.
“At least since he [my father] passed, we get to be with our family,” Isaiah said. “We don’t have to go to an orphanage or anything. I’d rather be here than anywhere else right now.”
The relatives have since launched a GoFundMe campaign to help cover unexpected funeral costs as well as some future expenses for the boys — and thankfully, it has far exceeded its goal.
With a background in the creative and educational fields, Amelia Finefrock is freelance writer, singer-songwriter and nanny based in Chicago.