"AnaLise was always a fighter and she was always going to try to beat the odds," said her brother Zak Cernoch

By Joelle Goldstein
July 02, 2020 12:36 PM
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AnaLise Long with her daughters Molly, Zoey, and Kate
GoFundMe

Three little girls have been left without their mother after she died following a "valiant" battle with coronavirus.

AnaLise Long was in the hospital for the second time when she died from complications due to COVID-19 on June 25, according to NBC affiliate KXAS.

The 47-year-old mother of triplets, who had underlying health conditions, had been battling the virus for two months and had even made a brief recovery before her tragic death, the outlet reports.

"She had fought valiantly as long as she could, as hard as she could, but her body wasn’t in a position to ever fully recover for contracting the virus and the impact that had on her other health conditions," Long's brother, Zak Cernoch, told KXAS.

Long's battle with the illness began on April 21, according to a GoFundMe page set up by her cousin on behalf of Long's husband Don "Bubba" and their 9-year-old daughters, Molly, Zoey and Kate.

At the time, the stay-at-home mom had experienced a "fainting spell" and went to a Texas hospital where she was diagnosed with COVID-19 and later was intubated, Cernoch told KXAS.

The virus took a major toll on Long due to her underlying health conditions, which included having diabetes and surviving spinal meningitis, according to the outlet.

Despite that, Long managed to make a recovery and was discharged from the hospital.

"She was actually able to get off the ventilator sooner than they anticipated initially,” Cernoch recalled to KXAS.

Because she needed to learn how to walk again, the Dallas mother was admitted to a rehabilitation hospital but was only there for a short time before facing another major setback in her health.

This time, her kidneys and liver were beginning to fail, which sent Long back into the hospital and onto a ventilator.

By June 25 — just two months after she initially was diagnosed with COVID-19 — Bubba and their three girls were called in to say one last goodbye to their beloved wife and mother.

"Even though she had some health issues, AnaLise was always a fighter and she was always going to try to beat the odds," Cernoch told KXAS. "Being a mother was the most important thing in her life."

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In the wake of her tragic death, the GoFundMe page was set up to assist the family with "the immense medical bills that have accumulated as well as provide future assistance in raising three amazing little girls," which Long lovingly referred to as "The Incredibles."

Within just five days, the page has raised more than $34,000.

"AnaLise (Ana, Aunie) meant so much to so many of us. She was an amazing daughter, sister, wife, niece, cousin, and friend," Long's cousin, Brandy Chapman, wrote. "However, her greatest accomplishment and what brought her the most joy were her three precious girls, Molly, Zoey, and Kate."

"AnaLise struggled with many medical issues over the last several years. But, despite it all, she continued to be an amazing mom to her girls," Chapman continued. "She fought hard and was a superhero to the very end."

As the family adjusts to a new reality without Long, Cernoch is finding comfort in the way his sister will live on through his three beautiful nieces, as well as all those who knew and loved her.

"It's amazing how many lives she touched," he told KXAS. "She'll always live on through [the triplets]. They each have a whole lot of their mama in them."

Cernoch is also urging others to take the virus seriously as the cases continue to rise in Texas. (There were 8,123 new cases reported in the state on Wednesday, according to The New York Times.)

"It does have a ripple effect, and nothing will ever be the same in our lives or many people's lives. So we just encourage folks to follow what your local health experts are saying, what they’re indicating," Cernoch told KXAS. "Stay home if you can. Wear your mask. Wash your hands, all of that advice that we’re getting."

"Let's not let those habits slip away," he added. "Recommit to doing those things and really try to put this past us and get on with the next phase of what life will be for many of us."

As of Thursday, there have been over 2.7 million cases and at least 128,103 deaths attributed to coronavirus in the United States, according to the New York Times. In Texas, at least 174,826 cases and 2,518 deaths have been reported, according to the Times.

As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments. PEOPLE has partnered with GoFundMe to raise money for the COVID-19 Relief Fund, a GoFundMe.org fundraiser to support everything from frontline responders to families in need, as well as organizations helping communities. For more information or to donate, click here.