Rialto family grieves loss of matriarch taken by COVID-19

RIALTO, Calif. (KABC) -- A battle lost to COVID-19 has left a 58-year-old man with Down syndrome without his mother and caretaker, 85-year-old Fabiola Rios.

During a Zoom interview with Eyewitness News, Fabiola Rios's daughter, Annette Rios, asked her brother, Ronney Rios, whether he missed his mother.

"Yeah," Ronney replied.

"She was always there for Ronney. She loved Ronney so much. She was always worried about Ronney and taking care of him. She couldn't even go out to eat. Every time she went out to eat, she would want to bring something back for Ronney," Rios explained.

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Annette Rios said her mother's love and care was always there for the entire family.

"My mom was a beautiful woman. She had a big heart. She was full of love and she's gonna be really missed," Annette said.

Annette, her daughter, grandson and younger brother, Ronney, also caught the virus.

In recovery Monday, the family is left with heartache and responsibility.

Ronney's health is deteriorating and his new caregiver was unemployed.
"He's getting older and I think he's even developing dementia," Annette said, adding, "I lost my job because of COVID. I haven't been able to work because I was taking care of my mom and taking care of Ronney and I'm just here like, 'OK, now what do I do?'"

The Rios' hope a GoFundMe would help them respect Fabiola's wishes.

"She didn't want to be cremated. She was very adamant about it. She wanted just to be buried in a coffin," Annette said.

The big sister and daughter hoped to keep a promise she made to her dying father 20 years ago.

"I said, 'Dad, I will take care of them. Don't worry, they're gonna be cared for,"' Annette Rios said.

Annette said as of Monday, it looked like her mother's life insurance won't pay in full.
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