Three children in California who recently lost their father to coronavirus (COVID-19) complications are now battling the novel virus themselves, according to their family.
The relatives of single dad Abraham Amezcua have made a desperate plea on GoFundMe after his children — son Moses, 13, and twins Antonio and Sydney, 11 — tested positive for COVID-19 in the days following his death.
The family said on the fundraiser's page that Amezcua, 59, was found dead in his home by his eldest son after falling ill with coronavirus-related symptoms.
"He was battling COVID-19 at home and did not make it through the night," the campaign's description read. "Earlier this year, he went on disability and like many others was doing his best to keep a roof over his children's head and food on the table. After a few months, he could not keep up on the bills, he became sick with COVID, and passed."
Now, the children "have also contracted COVID and are currently in isolation" in a home that is six months behind rent and utility payments, according to the GoFundMe.
Amezcua, a longshoreman at the Port of Los Angeles, stopped working in March due to concerns of bringing coronavirus home, NBC Los Angeles reported. However, Amezcua returned to work in late November so he could afford Christmas presents for his children, his family told the outlet.
He reportedly started coughing two days later and stayed home to self-isolate.
"He was definitely a loving father," Amezcua's niece Eden Castaneda told KTLA. "His kids were his everything. He absolutely loved his kids with all of his heart."
Amezcua's children are now in the care of their aunt, though they are at risk of having their utilities shut off due to unpaid bills, according to the family.
"It went as far as once the water and power company found out Abraham was deceased, they wanted to cut off power immediately," Castaneda said. "I just hope people can find it in their hearts to help these kids out because it's not their fault."
As of Monday, there have been more than 17,986,700 COVID-19 cases in the United States and at least 318,700 deaths from coronavirus-related illnesses, according to a New York Times database.
As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments. PEOPLE has partnered with GoFundMe to raise money for the COVID-19 Relief Fund, a GoFundMe.org fundraiser to support everything from frontline responders to families in need, as well as organizations helping communities. For more information or to donate, click here.
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