‘We have a new mission’: Couple takes in 5 nieces after mom’s death from COVID-19

MORENO VALLEY, Calif. (KCAL/KCBS) - An uncle and aunt in California say they have a mission to help their five nieces by taking them in and caring for them after their mother died from COVID-19.

A few days after single mother 33-year-old Jasmine Trujillo called her five daughters from the hospital over FaceTime in early January, she died from coronavirus. Her brother, Fidencio Jacobo, rushed home when he heard the news.

“We never expected this. My sister’s 33 years old,” he said. “Hearing their cries was the worst thing. Those screams still haunt me. Every time I think about it, I hear those cries, and it breaks my heart. Nobody should have to experience that.”

Jasmine Trujillo, a 33-year-old single mother of five, died from COVID-19 days after her girls talked to her over FaceTime in early January.
Jasmine Trujillo, a 33-year-old single mother of five, died from COVID-19 days after her girls talked to her over FaceTime in early January. (Source: Jacobo Family, KCAL/KCBS via CNN)

Fidencio Jacobo and his wife, Crystal Jacobo, knew they had to take their nieces in to prevent them from going to foster care. The girls, ages 6 to 15, now share the family’s small, three-bedroom home in Moreno Valley, California.

“It was hard, but it was something that had to be done. They’re family, so it didn’t matter. My family went from three to eight,” Crystal Jacobo said.

The girls say they are happy to live with family but haunted by the fact they never got to say goodbye to their mom. Every night, they talk to her as they pray.

“I just miss my mom and wish she could be here with us,” Esmerelda Trujillo said. “I pray up to God and her to just keep my other family safe and do not let them pass.”

“I tell my mom I love her. I tell her that at least you’re not hurting no more because it hurts me that when she was hurting, she couldn’t tell me that she loved me. But she blowed me a kiss while that mask was on her,” Jazlynn Trujillo said.

The sisters now share their aunt and uncle's three-bedroom home. They are happy to live with family but haunted by the fact they never got to say goodbye to their mom.
The sisters now share their aunt and uncle's three-bedroom home. They are happy to live with family but haunted by the fact they never got to say goodbye to their mom. (Source: Jacobo Family, KCAL/KCBS via CNN)

Fidencio Jacobo is a pipe fitter, and Crystal Jacobo was in nursing school but stopped her classes when the girls moved in two weeks ago. They also have a 4-year-old child.

More than ever, the family says they are counting on each other and their faith to make it through this battle.

“I put all my trust in God. He’s been with us, he’s blessed us and he’s seen us through so much. But we know we have a new mission. We have a new purpose,” Fidencio Jacobo said.

“Through the storm, there is a rainbow. Even though Mom’s not here, they have a lot of family that love them and will always be there for them. If we can make an impact on their life, then I think that our mission will be accomplished,” Crystal Jacobo said.

A GoFundMe set up to help the family has raised more than $23,000.

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