Boy, 5, left orphaned after both parents die from Covid

Nadine Carroll
·3-min read

Raiden Gonzalez is turning five-years-old this month but he won’t be able to celebrate with his mother or father who both died from Covid-19 just months apart from each other.

Raiden’s grandmother, Rozie Salinas, told NBC News the little boy is doing well in her care but often talks about how much he misses his parents.

"Raiden being left behind, it's very hard.

“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,” Ms Salinas said.

Raiden Gonzalez (centre) with his late mother Mariah (left) and his father, Adan (right) who both died from coronavirus.
Raiden Gonzalez (centre) has lost both his mother, Mariah (left) and his father, Adan (right) to Covid. Source: GoFundMe

Raiden lost his father, Adan Gonzalez, 33, on June 26 after spending nearly a month in ICU diagnosed with Covid-19.

Raiden’s mother Mariah Gonzalez, 29, was still mourning the loss of her husband when she started feeling unwell on October 5. One day later she died, posthumously testing positive to Covid-19.

"She went via ambulance Monday evening around 9pm and by 8:15 am Tuesday, she was gone," Raiden’s great aunt Margie Bryant told NBC.

"She had no symptoms whatsoever. Not a sniffle, not a cough. Nothing," she added.

The four-year-old boy was devastated losing both his parents and Ms Bryant said his mother’s death hit him the hardest.

"A couple of days ago, he said he wishes he could bring her back," Ms Bryant explained.

Rozie Salinas (left) with her grandson Raiden Gonzalez (right).
Rozie Salinas (left) is now taking care of her grandson (right) after the death of both of his parents just months apart. Source: News4SA

As the family tries to come to terms with the loss, they are determined to make Raiden’s fifth birthday on November 28 special.

After being overwhelmed by donations from a GoFundMe page set up to help the little boy, his family asked for members in their local community in San Antonio, Texas, to help contribute to Raiden’s birthday with a social distanced celebration.

Raiden asked for a dinosaur theme for his birthday and can’t wait to see the “drive by roar and wave” where locals are invited to pass Ms Salinas house and help the little boy smile.

“We have several truck clubs, bikers, Mustang clubs, classic cars, Jeep clubs, plus the fire department. It’s going to be a huge turnout,” Ms Salinas told the local news.

She said taking care of Raiden after losing her daughter and son-in-law has been “a hard situation to process” but her grandson keeps her spirits high.

"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," she said.

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