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5-month-old daughter of FDNY firefighter dies from COVID-19, family says

Lives to Remember: Honoring virus victims
Lives to Remember: Honoring virus victims 05:35

The 5-month-old baby of a New York City firefighter has died of coronavirus complications, according to Jose A Prosper, president of the FDNY Hispanic Society. Jay-Natalie La Santa was the daughter of the FDNY Hispanic Society's newest member, Jerel La Santa, and his wife, Lindsey La Santa, Prosper wrote in an Instagram post.

"One of the worst experiences as a parent is to go through the loss of a child," Prosper wrote. "Called 'Warrior princess' a title given to her by her Father Jerel, for her fighting spirit against the horrible covid-19 Virus."

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Hello all, One of the worst experiences as a parent is to go through the loss of a child. It is with extreme sorrow to announce the passing of Jay-Natalie La Santa (5 months) daughter of our newest member to the Department and to the FDNY Hispanic Society family, Jerel and Lindsey La Santa. Called "Warrior princess" a title given to her by her Father Jerel, for her fighting spirit against the horrible covid-19 Virus. Rest in peace little one, God bless you. Please keep the La Santa family close in prayer and for peace during this difficult of times. Below, a GoFundMe has been set up by the family to help with Jay-Natalie medical expenses. Jose A Prosper President FDNY Hispanic Society Share or donate to this GoFundMe, https://gf.me/u/xyggpn

A post shared by FDNY Hispanic Society (@hispanicsocietyfdny) on

In a GoFundMe created for the parents, a family member said Jay-Natalie La Santa "had mommy and daddy wrapped around her little finger and knew it." She was born November 27, 2019 and died April 20, the GoFundMe page creator, Danielle La Santa, wrote.

Jay-Natalie loved "loved music and enjoyed hearing it during bath time and car rides. She loved to be sung to, enjoyed watching bright colors, hearing mommy and daddy's voice, being kissed and hugged and most of all being rocked to sleep. She despised tummy time, but found comfort in her rattle," La Santa wrote. 

"We call her the Warrior Princess because she fought Covid-19 like nobody's business!!!! Her fight inspired all of the nurses, doctors and staff members that knew her," La Santa continued. "Her purpose was served and she was called home on 4/20/2020.  We thought we were having a baby, but had an angel instead."

The GoFundMe was set up to help the family with hospital bills after Jay-Natalie's long-term stay. Jerel La Santa posted a photo from his daughter's hospitalization on April 5. The photo shows him and his wife at their daughter's bedside, with balloons brightening the hospital room. His Facebook page is now flooded with condolences for the loss of Jay-Natalie.

the family is extending an invitation to all for Jay-Natalie's funeral, according to the GoFundMe. There will be a Facebook livestream of the service, which will be held on May 2. 

CBS News has not independently confirmed Jay-Natalie died from COVID-19 and has reached out to the FDNY Hispanic Society and the La Santa family for more details. 

While it is uncommon for children and babies to die from the disease, they are not immune. Earlier this month, a 6-week-old baby who tested positive for the coronavirus died in Connecticut, Governor Ned Lamont confirmed.

"At present, the disease seems to be much milder in babies and children," writes Aaron Milstone, an associate hospital epidemiologist and pediatrician Johns Hopkins Hospital. "That said, there is currently no vaccine, so parents should do everything they can to protect children from getting it."

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