A Palmdale mother of six who tested positive for COVID-19 passed away Monday after being listed in critical condition at the hospital, according to a message posted by her sister-in-law Crystal Acosta Torres on a GoFundMe page set up for the family.
Brenda Martinez, 43, had been hospitalized for a week and in critical condition for the past three days, Torres told City News Service on Monday.
All six of her children, ages 2 to 19 years old, tested positive for coronavirus and are currently in isolation with some experiencing minor symptoms, according to Torres who said she set up the online fundraiser on behalf of her oldest nephew so that the teenager could cover basic expenses for the younger siblings he's caring for at home.
Torres said she and other family members are helping however they can and have been dropping off supplies at the family's home but "they need to pay their rent for this month and their bills for food and stuff. It's for the kids because they don't have anyone."
More than $24,000 have been raised thus far through the GoFundMe page.
"Our family is beyond grateful, we are extremely overwhelmed and never expected for so many amazing people to help our family in this tremendous way. We are at a loss for words. Thank you. Truly, God Bless You All!" Torres posted online.
Brenda's oldest son, Jose Martinez, says he and his mom started feeling sick at the beginning of the month and is not sure how the family contracted the virus since they've been quarantining and wearing masks. Brenda, who was diabetic, was isolating at her Palmdale home until she had trouble breathing.
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"She had called me, like around 3 a.m. and she said, you know what mijo, I feel sick," said Martinez.
Brenda was rushed to the hospital and she video chatted with her children a couple of times, but then, she was intubated and put on a ventilator, according to Martinez.
"And then one night I just received a call that they had to sedate her and it's sad because I wasn't able to talk to her for two days and then they sedated her and that was it," Martines said.
Martinez promises to stay strong for the family.
"We've cried together. I told them everything was going to be fine, not to worry, that I was going to take care of them the best way I can...and raise them because I'm all they have right now," he said.
To contribute to the GoFundMe account click here.
City News Service and NBC4's Kim Tobin contributed to this report