Family members mourning a Wilmington single father who died of coronavirus say they’ve also been left to deal with a mounting financial burden as the decedent struggled to pay bills during the pandemic.
Abraham Amezcua, 59, began to experience flu-like symptoms in late November, shortly after his mother died following weeks in hospice, relatives say.
His symptoms progressively got worse as he tried to care for his three children at home.
“Unfortunately, one night the eldest was up with him all night. He went to sleep and when, when he woke up, he found his father deceased at home,” said Amezcua’s niece Eden Castaneda.
It was determined he died of complications from COVID-19, and within days all three of his children tested positive for coronavirus.
“They are in isolation right now, so we have to give them virtual hugs,” his niece said. “It’s been hard to not even be able to physically be there.”
The children are now living with their aunt, and relatives expect them to be OK physically.
Amezcua worked on and off as a longshoreman at the Port of Los Angeles, but “always struggled because he was a single dad of three kids,” his sister, Susan Castaneda, said.
After his passing, his family says they discovered he was behind on rent and utility payments.
“It went as far as once the water and power company found out Abraham was deceased, they wanted to cut off power immediately,” Eden Castaneda said.
Donations will keep the utilities on for about another week, but Amezcua’s car may soon be repossessed — a huge financial burden on relatives who are caring for his children.
Amezcua’s children include an older boy and a boy and girl who are twins. The youngest boy has autism, family says.
“He was definitely a loving father,” Eden Castaneda said. “His kids were his everything. He absolutely loved his kids with all of his heart.”
As a single dad for years following his divorce, Amezcua “did his best,” she added.
“I just hope people can find it in their hearts to help these kids out because it’s not their fault,” Eden Castaneda told KTLA.
The niece has set up a GoFundMe campaign that had raised more than half of its $50,000 goal as of Thursday night.
For those unable to contribute money, family says household items and Christmas gifts for the children would also help. They’re holding a collection event on Sunday, from noon to 1 p.m., at Harry Bridges Span School in Wilmington.