ECISD teacher’s daughter speaks out after her mother dies of COVID-19


ODESSA, Texas (Big 2/Fox 24) – If you ask Rebecca Lopez to describe her mother in one word she would say a warrior.

“She was a warrior. Any strength that my sister and I got, my sister’s name is Grace, any strength that we got in our lives and in ourselves came from my mom,” said Lopez, the daughter of Amalia Gonzales who was a teacher at Milam Elementary.

After surviving breast cancer two times Gonzales’ lost her battle to COVID-19. A retired teacher, her love of children and education brought her back to the classroom. Unfortunately, after a meeting on Thursday, she started to feel under the weather.

“Since then we’ve learned that there was someone there that was COVID-19 positive,” said Lopez.

Her daughter later recounting that her mother thought she had allergies and went to the doctor the following Monday to get checked out.

According to Lopez, “The doctors didn’t feel that she was sick enough at that point to go to the hospital so it’s almost like she didn’t have a fighting chance.”

No one was expecting that in a matter of days things would take a turn for the worst.

“Thanksgiving morning my sister talked to her around 2:30 in the morning and she was feeling okay, she was talking. Three hours later she had passed and they tested her for COVID at the hospital when they transported her… and she died within minutes of arriving at the hospital,” she said.

Lopez ending the interview saying she isn’t mad at the district or the healthcare providers she understands everyone is doing the best they can; but, she does have a strong plea for everyone who is not taking this seriously.

“If you start feeling those symptoms to take them really really seriously don’t think that they are allergies. Make sure that you get checked out. I want to raise awareness at how quickly the virus can overtake your body especially if you are vulnerable and you are older,” said the daughter.

Their family was able to do a Zoom with ECISD and some of the Teachers at Milam. They said they are grateful for all of the heartwarming stories they shared and Gonzales truly was doing what she loved up until her last days.

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