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Palmdale mother of six dies after being hospitalized with COVID-19


A Palmdale mother of six children, all of whom reportedly tested positive for COVID-19, has died after being hospitalized with the virus, according to an online post by her sister-in-law.

Brenda Martinez, 43, had been hospitalized for a week and in critical condition, her sister-in-law Crystal Acosta Torres told City News Service on Monday afternoon.

Acosta Torres—who established a GoFundMe page to help cover the family’s expenses—subsequently posted an update on the page saying Martinez died at 9:30 p.m. Monday.

Martinez tested positive for COVID-19 and was initially isolating at home before she had trouble breathing and went to a hospital, according to her family. Her sister-in-law told CBS2 that Martinez suffered from diabetes.

“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,” her sister-in-law told Channel 2 shortly before Martinez died.

With the mother unable to care for her six children—ages 2 to 19 years old—Acosta Torres set up the online fundraiser on behalf of her oldest nephew, Juan Jose “JJ” Martinez, so he could cover basic expenses for the younger siblings he was caring for at home.

All six children, including JJ Martinez, have tested positive for the virus and are in isolation, with some experiencing minor symptoms, their aunt said. Given restrictions related to the virus, they were unable to visit their nonresponsive mother in the hospital, although they were able to see her on a videoconference call.

The siblings, whose father is unable to help, need financial support for basic necessities, their aunt said on Monday.

“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,” Acosta Torres said, noting that she and other family members had been dropping off supplies to the family’s home and trying to help however they can.

The sister-in-law said Monday that her nephew was grateful for the money that had 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,” Acosta Torres 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. Thank you to everyone who has shared our post and thank you for all your prayers. Our family definitely feels the love and support.”

As of early Tuesday evening, the family had raised $40,173 of a $50,000 goal from more than 840 donors.

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