A New York City firefighter and his wife lost their 4-month-old daughter to the coronavirus this week, according to their family.
Jay-Natalie La Santa, the first child of firefighter Jerel La Santa and his wife Lindsey La Santa, died on Monday after being rushed to the hospital nearly a month ago.
The girl’s grandmother, Wanda La Santa, confirmed her death to NBC News.
"She was very feisty. She was a little angel with the most beautiful smile. She kept us on our toes," Wanda La Santa said.
The infant had “everybody wrapped around her finger,” her grandmother continued. “Whatever Jay-Natalie wanted, she got.”
The 4-month-old was taken to the hospital on March 21 for a fever and was admitted right away due to her pre-existing heart condition. Jay-Natalie’s initial coronavirus test came back negative, as well as tests for her parents and grandmother.
However, a week later she was tested again and it came back positive.
“We have no clue how she got it," Wanda La Santa told NBC News.
The baby was reportedly awake for the first 16 days of her hospital stay but her grandmother said she was placed in a medically-induced coma due to her heart condition.
Wanda La Santa told the outlet her granddaughter began showing signs of improvement.
"She had broken the fever. It looked like it was subsiding," Wanda La Santa said. "Her lungs were starting to clear."
Doctors believed the baby was on the mend during an April 20 meeting, but "everything just started going south” within hours.
"In a matter of minutes, her pulse started to drop, her breathing started to drop and she went into cardiac arrest," the grandmother said.
Jay-Natalie later died that day, leaving her family devastated.
"I want people to understand and know this is something serious. This is not a joke," she said. "My granddaughter fought a big battle for a whole month in the hospital. She gave it her all."
The FDNY Hispanic Society, a fraternal organization, wrote on Instagram that the baby was nicknamed “Warrior Princess” by her father.
“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," the post read.
A GoFundMe fundraiser was set up to help the La Santa family pay for medical expenses following the baby’s lengthy hospital stay. It was closed after raising more than $41,439.