JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – As the country celebrated our nation’s independence, one local family met the reality of the coronavirus pandemic head on.
Renada McGuire, 39, a St. Augustine mother of six, died July 4 as a result of COVID-19, her friend, Amelia Williams, told News4Jax.
“It just hasn’t really sunk in that she’s gone,” said Williams, who knew McGuire for more than 20 years.
Williams said McGuire lived for her six children, ages 19, 17, 15, 12, 10 and 6.
According to a GoFundMe page set up for the family, two of McGuire’s children have disabilities and will need extra care and attention.
Williams said the children will live with McGuire’s brother, who was by her side when she died.
“Already heartbroken from losing my only sibling, it broke my heart even more having to place the phone by her ear on speaker for her children to say they love her, miss her, and try to encourage her to fight to get better,” Jorge Guerrero said on the GoFundMe page. “Just to come home two hours later and inform six kids that their mother isn’t coming home.”
Williams said she wants people to remember her friend as more than just a COVID statistic.
“She was just this warm-hearted person,” Williams said. “She would give anybody anything. She was always smiling. She loved her kids.”
Williams has a message for anyone who doesn’t believe the virus is real.
“I just want to tell people to take this seriously,” she said. “It can’t get any realer than what’s going on. Lives are being lost.”
If you would like to learn more or donate to the family, Williams shared the GoFundMe link.