Journalistic Excellence in Amplifying Patient Voices

Thousands of Young Children Lost Parents to Covid. Where’s Help for Them?

Jul 23, 2021   |   Kaiser Health News

Five months after her husband died of covid-19, Valerie Villegas can see how grief has wounded her children.

Nicholas, the baby, who was 1 and almost weaned when his father died, now wants to nurse at all hours and calls every tall, dark-haired man “Dada,” the only word he knows. Robert, 3, regularly collapses into furious tantrums, stopped using the big-boy potty and frets about sick people giving him germs. Ayden, 5, recently announced it’s his job to “be strong” and protect his mom and brothers.

Her older kids – Kai Flores, 13, Andrew Vaiz, 16, and Alexis Vaiz, 18 – are often quiet and sad or angry and sad, depending on the day. The two eldest, gripped by anxiety that makes it difficult to concentrate or sleep, were prescribed antidepressants soon after losing their stepfather. Read More

Authors

JoNel Aleccia

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