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Couple die from COVID-19 one day apart, leave behind 5 children

/ 05:11 PM June 12, 2020
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A couple died one day apart in the United States after contracting the new coronavirus. They left behind five children aged 2 to 17.

The 60-year-old Humberto Ruelas-Rivas passed away last Sunday, June 7, CW-affiliate, KTLA reported last Tuesday, June 9. His wife, Karina Bonilla, 38, died on Monday, June 8.

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Rivas’ 35-year-old daughter, Maria Ruelas, intends to take care of her five younger siblings. She also has a 30-year-old sister who was hospitalized due to COVID-19 and who had a stroke.

“Within six days, I lost my father. And within eight hours, I lost my stepmother,” Ruelas said in the report. “And now I have five kids.”

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Ruelas is engaged to be married and has no children of her own yet. She is trying to get legal custody of her younger siblings. “I’m happy to do it in the memory of my father,” she was quoted as saying.

Her stepmother, Bonilla, got the coronavirus first, most likely from her work as a fruit vendor, Ruelas said. Her stepmom supposedly had the symptoms for COVID-19, but did not put herself into isolation. Bonilla started having symptoms and eventually so did her husband.

According to the report, Ruelas was also not able to say goodbye to her father.

“Even though they’re deceased, the virus is still active in their bodies so you can’t touch the body,” she explained. “I hope this story doesn’t repeat again. It’s devastating.”

Ruelas’ family set up a GoFundMe page for the deceased couple to pay for their funeral and medical expenses. Its goal is to raise $70,000 (P3.51 million). It has gotten over $63,000 (P3.16 million), as of this writing. Cha Lino /ra

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TAGS: Coronavirus, COVID-19, fruit vendor, stepmothers, United States
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