Community celebrates birthday of Texas boy who lost both parents to COVID-19 months apart

Posted at 11:36 AM, Nov 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-29 12:43:31-05

SAN ANTONIO, TX — Community members in San Antonio are showing support for a little boy who lost both his parents to COVID-19.

Raiden Gonzalez turned five years old Saturday and a parade of people came to help him celebrate the big day.

"Words can't explain what I'm feeling right now," said Rozie Salinas, the boy's grandmother.

It was a day filled with birthday cake, Santa and Mrs. Clause and dinosaurs.

"The community coming together a little bit is just such a big deal through these times show unity more than anything," said Elmer Zubiate, who attended the birthday party.

The massive car parade all for Raiden Gonzales lasted nearly an hour.

The young boy's family has been torn a part by COVID-19.

His parents, Adan and Mariah died after losing their battles to the virus, just months apart.

Salinas said Adan was a truck driver and contracted the virus through his job in June. The 33-year-old died that same month, according to KSAT.

In October, Salinas’ daughter, 29-year-old Mariah, began to experience chest pain and had difficulty breathing.

Salinas said Mariah was taken to the hospital. She died days after being admitted to the hospital.

"He says, he wishes he had him back, you know, as being adults. Because right now, he, he understands that they're angels now. And they're protecting us and watching over us," said Rozie.

Raiden's grandmother says as his parents watch from above, she's overwhelmed by the swell of support shown by the community today.

"He's received, I mean, so, so much. And you know, it's like, it's amazing how, you know, it's like, I tell him, like, all these people are doing this for you," said Rozie.

And little Raiden is grateful for everyone who came by today too.

To those who stopped by to show him love, he says "Thank you."