People in Redlands are mourning the death of a popular restaurant owner who recently died from COVID-19 complications.
Her husband and kids were also infected but thankfully they survived.
"She was just a really shining light in our family and our community," says Ignacio Silverio, the restaurant owner's brother.
Silverio wants everyone to know about his sister, Leticia. She was a 40-year-old loving wife and mother of three, who Ignacio says, always put others before herself.
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"My sister, because of finance issues, she wasn't able to go to college, and one of her biggest hopes was that her kids would be able to go to college and have a better life than she did," the mourning sibling said.
Silverio says that is why Letty and her husband opened Cheliz Restaurant a few years ago. But like so many other small family-run businesses, it had been struggling because of COVID-19.
Then, in early July, Letty and her family got infected with COVID-19.
Silverio says Letty was able to nurse them back to health, but she couldn't shake the symptoms and also developed a separate infection. So, Letty was then taken to a hospital and put in isolation.
"They seal her up and put plastic all around her so she won't contaminate anyone else, and they had to say their goodbyes and that was the last time my brother-in-law saw her," Silverio said.
After a roller coaster few weeks on a ventilator, the brother shared that his sister tragically died on Sunday.
"The doctor told us that her heart had stopped and she passed," Silverio said. "I just got the news last night, so sad."
News of Letty's death has also deeply affected loyal customers, who continue to come by and give their condolences.
"We always are here, and she was a wonderful woman," said Bob Navarrette, a customer.
"You were treated almost like family."
Letty's family has now set up a Gofundme to help pay for her funeral and also college tuition for her kids. If you would like to donate to the GoFundMe, you may do so here. Please note that GoFundMe takes a percentage of all funds raised in the form of platform and other fees.
"We don't want anyone to experience the same pain that we're experiencing," Silverio said.
And so, Silverio is pleading with people to do their part by wearing a mask, washing hands frequently and always practicing social distancing.
Said Silverio, "I would much rather not hug my family for two or three months than never see them again."