By Lauren M. Johnson and David Williams, CNN
Updated: Fri, 24 Jul 2020 11:37:15 GMT
Two young brothers from Houston said goodbye to their mother at the beginning of July, not knowing their father would also die 15 days later and for the same reason.
Their mother Noehmi Esquivel, 39, and their father Carlos Garcia, 44, both died after fighting the coronavirus, the family confirmed to CNN.
Esquivel was taken to the hospital on July 2, and ended up dying the same day, her brother, Jacob Mendoza, told CNN.
"My mom spoke to her and told her that it was okay for her to go home ... and not to worry about Carlos and the boys," Mendoza said.
"[She] prayed over her in Jesus name and she passed away over the phone with my mom talking to her."
Then, just 11 days later, her husband, Carlos, landed in the hospital because of kidney problems. His family said he was recovering from coronavirus and it aggravated medical problems he was already having.
"He was barely recuperating ... [but] when he went into the hospital, he was doing well," Mendoza said.
On July 17, his fourth day in the hospital, Mendoza said Garcia's condition unexpectedly worsened.
"We had just gotten off the phone with him, and he sounded perfectly fine. He sounded like there was nothing wrong with him. And it surprised us when we got the call around one o'clock in the morning that he had passed away," he said.
Both Esquivel and Garcia had diabetes and other underlying conditions.
"It has just been very rough on us, because both of them, you know, they both had to die in the hospital by themselves because of this whole coronavirus pandemic," Mendoza said.
Now, both of their sons Nathan, 12, and Isaiah, 14, will have to live with Mendoza and his wife. The family has set up a GoFundMe page to help with the boys' living expenses and the community has rallied around them in their loss.
"At least, since he [my father] passed, we get to be with our family," Isaiah Garcia told CNN affiliate KTRK. "We don't have to go to an orphanage or anything. I'd rather be here than anywhere else right now."
His father's funeral is on Tuesday at The Promise Church of Houston.