Brother, sister die 11 days apart from COVID-19

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Monete Hicks said she didn’t have a clue that two of her children even had coronavirus until they ended up at the hospital.

"My heart, my heart." Hicks said her heart just breaks.

Byron Francis had just turned 20 when he started having problems breathing.

“We called the paramedics and the paramedics came by. They rushed him down. They said it was just a matter of time because he was losing so much oxygen,” Hicks said. “He just went into cardiac arrest and he slipped away.” He passed away at Florida Medical Center.

Not even a week later, her daughter, Mychaela got sick and was also hospitalized, Broward Health Medical Center.

“One minute, I hear she’s fine, she’s stable — the next thing I hear, her kidneys are failing.”

Loved ones tell Local 10 that the 23-year-old passed away 11 days after her brother; both testing positive for Covid-19.

"We never thought in a million years that a virus would come and take out two of our loved ones within 11 days," cousin Darisha Scott said.

The family doesn't want their two loved ones to just be another statistic.

"It's not a game. Please wear your mask," Scott said.

Hicks doesn’t know how her children got the virus. She said that they did struggle with obesity and asthma — two underlying conditions in which a growing body of research shows can cause people to be more susceptible to the virus.

The family has set up a GoFundMe page to help with funeral costs.

On the page, Hicks talks about her children saying that Mychaela was known as “ ‘Kayla Pretty Barbie’ and was a loving and devoted sister, auntie and friend who was always willing to listen and give advice.”

She said her son, Byron, was our “ ‘Big Teddy Bear.' His smile could light up a room.”

About the Authors:

Christian De La Rosa joined Local 10 News in April 2017 after spending time as a reporter and anchor in Atlanta, San Diego, Orlando and Panama City Beach.

Michelle F. Solomon is the podcast producer/reporter/host of Local 10's original, true-crime podcast The Florida Files and a digital journalist for Local