PALMDALE (CBSLA) — A Palmdale mother of six died Monday after testing positive for COVID-19, while her children isolated at home after also testing positive, the family confirmed.
Brenda Martinez, 43, had been hospitalized for a week, according to her sister-in-law Crystal Acosta Torres who said she had been in critical condition for the past three days.
“She’s amazing,” Acosta Torres said, fighting back tears. “She’s very strong, you know. She’s incredible. She will go above and beyond to help anyone in need, you know. She’s always there for you when you need her, an amazing mother.”
Family members said Martinez, who had underlying health conditions, tested positive for the novel coronavirus and had been isolating at home until she started having trouble breathing and went to the hospital. They said they were not sure how she contracted the virus.
When Martinez was put on life support and unable to care for her six children — ages 2 to 19 — Acosta Torres set up a GoFundMe page on behalf of her eldest nephew, Juan Jose Martinez, so he could cover the cost of care for his younger siblings.
“They need to pay their rent for this month and their bills for food and stuff,” Acosta Torres said. “It’s for the kids, because they don’t have anyone.”
She said the children’s father was not able to help, though she and other family members have been dropping off supplies at the home where the children, some experiencing minor symptoms, are isolating.
Since Acosta Torres starting the fundraising effort, more than $14,000 has been raised.
“I just want to say thank you to everyone. My nephew is grateful because this is a lot while he’s making these decisions for his mom and taking care of his siblings while she continues to fight for her life,” she said. “It’s hard for the family, and we want to thank everyone for helping where they can. Our family truly appreciates everyone who has donated for my nieces and nephews.”
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)