(CNN) – The daughter of a New York firefighter died from a coronavirus, said her family, making her one of the youngest known victims of the virus.
Jay-Natalie, 5 months old, daughter of New York firefighter Jerel La Santa and Board of Education employee Lindsey La Santa spent a month in hospital receiving treatment for the virus before succumbing to it.
Jose Prosper, president of the Hispanic Society of FDNY, announced his death.
Her father, who became a firefighter in November, the same month he was born, called Jay-Natalie a “warrior princess” for his “fighting spirit,” wrote Prosper.
A month in the hospital
Jerel and Lindsey took their daughter to the Bronx Hospital with a fever on March 21, Jay-Natalie’s grandmother Wanda La Santa told CNN. The baby had heart disease, so they were already worried about his health.
She would not leave the hospital until her death. Her parents were by her side all the time, said Wanda La Santa.
There was a time when Jay-Natalie’s condition seemed to improve – the fluid in his lungs cleared up and his family was optimistic.
But she suddenly had a cardiac arrest and the doctors could not resuscitate her, said Wanda.
His death devastates his family
Wanda said that her son and daughter-in-law were “destroyed” by the death of Jay-Natalie. She was the couple’s first child and Wanda’s first grandson.
“It was the most precious thing we had,” said Wanda.
To help the family with medical bills, Jerel’s aunt, Danielle La Santa, created a GoFundMe page. He raised more than four times the original goal, with a total of $ 41,000. The family has since learned that their insurance will cover their hospital costs, so part of the funds will be used for Jay-Natalie’s funeral and burial expenses.
They will donate additional funds to the Montefiore Children’s Hospital and the Albert Einstein Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, where she spent time as a newborn.
Meanwhile, Jerel’s colleagues at his Bronx fire station warmly kissed Jerel and Lindsey in their crisis – they treat the La Santa family “like gold,” said Danielle.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the La Santa family during this tragic time,” a spokesperson for the FDNY department told CNN.
Jay-Natalie is at least the second child of a first responder to die from a coronavirus this month. The first case occurred in Detroit when Skylar Herbert, 5, died of complications from the virus. Her mother had been a Detroit police officer for 25 years, and her father had been a city firefighter for 18 years.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, three children aged 1 to 14 died of the virus on April 2.
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