Monete Hicks’ two children, Byron, 20, and Mychaela, 23, both died suddenly from COVID-19 after taking a trip to Orlando

By Julie Mazziotta
July 21, 2020 12:26 PM
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A mother who lost her two children to the coronavirus just 11 days apart is urging people to “just stay home.”

Monete Hicks, from Lauderhill, Florida, said that her son Byron, 20, and daughter Mychaela, 23, had been “basically homebound” during the pandemic, as both had preexisting health issues. But they decided to take a trip to Orlando in June, Monete told CNN, and soon after, Byron woke up one Saturday struggling to breathe.

Paramedics rushed Byron to the hospital, “but he was losing so much oxygen,” Monete told Local 10. By noon that day, June 27, “he just went into cardiac arrest and he slipped away.”

“I lost my baby,” she told CNN.

Four days later, Mychaela started feeling sick and immediately asked her mom to take her to the hospital. At first, she had a headache and a fever, but her condition deteriorated.

“One minute, I hear she’s fine, she’s stable — the next thing I hear, her kidneys are failing,” Monete told Local 10.

Mychaela died on July 8, just 11 days after her brother. Both tested positive for COVID-19 in the hospital and Monete said she’s not sure how they contracted the virus, but believes their preexisting conditions — asthma and obesity — were a factor.

Mychaela and Byron Hicks
GoFundMe (2)

“Those are my hearts, and they will always be my hearts,” she told CNN.

Byron “was the goofball of the family,” who loved gaming and his relatives, Monete’s niece, Darisha Scott, told CNN. And Mychaela “was very outgoing, very loving.”

“Mychaela was the light of the family — her smile could light up a room,” Scott said. “They were real special people in this world.”

Monete set up a GoFundMe to help with their funeral costs, and is urging people to take the virus seriously.

“It’s real, it’s out there,” she said. “If you’ve been in contact with the virus, stay away from other people. If you are around other people let them know. Wear your masks, stay sanitized.”

“Just stay home,” she added, tearing up. “Stay home.”

Scott emphasized that COVID-19 is “not a joke, it’s not a game, it’s not something that the government made up. It’s not nothing that has to do with being democrat or republican.”

“Nobody wants this,” she said. “Nobody should have to feel the pain — my auntie shouldn’t have to feel this pain.”