BRONX, N.Y. - Her time on this earth was short, but the impact little Jay-Natalie La Santa had on her family was tremendous. She was the boss, and she had everyone, including her grandmother, wrapped around her little finger.
“She was a smiley little baby. She was wonderful. She was the most precious thing that God gave us,” said Wanda La Santa, Jay-Natalie's grandmother.
Jay-Natalie hated tummy time, but she loved her rattle, taking pictures and listening to music. All memories Wanda La Santa wanted to share of the little girl who was born with a heart condition. Jay-Natalie was a week shy of 5 months old when she died of complications from coronavirus.
“The first 16 days in the hospital she was awake. She was fighting it. She was very feisty. Her temperature kept going up and down. Up and down. They wanted to induce her into a coma to make her rest so her body can heal. As the days went by she kept getting better. We had our high hopes for her and that night, one minute to the other everything just went downhill and the baby went into cardiac arrest.
Jay-Natalie was in the hospital for a month. It was a heartbreaking goodbye for her grandmother, who lives in co-op city, and her mother and father, a New York City firefighter who lives in the Bedford Park in the Bronx.
“They are devastated. It was their first child and it has been an uphill battle,” said La Santa.
But they are not fighting it alone.
“The community from the hospital, the community from the fire department have been so, so helpful,” said La Santa.
The family is also getting financial support through this online fundraising campaign on Go Fund Me. Jay-Natalie is scheduled to be buried on May 2nd.