A 5-year-old boy from Texas who tragically lost his mother and father to COVID-19 celebrated his birthday with a drive-by parade.
The parade that featured Santa and Mrs. Claus, dinosaurs, and fire trucks took place in San Antonio, Texas, one week after Raiden Gonzalez’s birthday, Good Morning America reported.
“Everyone, including Raiden, was just overwhelmed with joy,” Margie Bryant, Raiden’s great aunt, said. “We were overwhelmed with the response from the community.”
Within three months, Raiden, an only child, lost both his parents, Adan and Mariah, due to COVID-19.
Bryant shared that her family planned a small birthday parade to help comfort the 5-year-old. The community soon stepped in to support the family, which led the San Antonio fire and police departments to participate. The parade lasted one hour, and it was the only time that it didn’t rain in the area.
“To me it’s like somebody was definitely looking down at us, and it worked out,” Bryant said. “I would say Mariah and Adan were smiling and proud of what we did for our little man.”
Raiden’s 29-year-old mother died on October 6. A day before she arrived at the hospital, she complained about COVID-19 symptoms such as chills and body aches as well as having a difficult time breathing.
Rozie Salinas, the young woman’s mother, said she tested negative for the virus, but after she passed away, the COVID-19 test was positive.
Tragedy continued for this family as Gonzalez’s husband, Adan, died from COVID-19 on June 26 after spending several weeks hospitalized with complications from the deadly virus.
Salinas said that her grandson understands what happened to his father but can’t process yet how his mother is now gone. Often, the 5-year-old boy asks why he can’t have his ““mommy”” back.
“It was very emotional,” she said. “Even though these past three months have not been the best for our family, we chose to take joy in the memories that we have of our loved ones.”