For a month, little Jay-Natalie La Santa fought off the coronavirus that plagued her tiny body. On Monday, however, the 4-month-old daughter of New York City firefighter Jerel La Santa and his wife, Lindsey, succumbed to COVID-19, just hours after it appeared she'd turned a corner, per the Hill. "She was very feisty. She kept us on our toes," her grandmother, Wanda La Santa, tells NBC News of her first grandchild, who'd been in the hospital since March 21 after developing a fever. Although Jay-Natalie's initial test for the virus came back negative, she wasn't getting better, and so a week later another test was administered, which came back positive. The family has no idea how she got sick, Wanda La Santa says. Although Jay-Natalie was awake for her first two weeks or so in the hospital, she had a heart condition, so doctors eventually decided to put her in a medically induced coma.
A week or so after that, Wanda La Santa says, the fever went away, Jay-Natalie's lungs began clearing up, and doctors who met with the family on Monday believed she was on her way to recovery. Then, "in a matter of minutes ... everything just started going south," Wanda La Santa says. Jay-Natalie died a week before she turned 5 months old. "Our thoughts and prayers are with the La Santa family during this tragic time," an FDNY rep says in a statement to CNN. A GoFundMe for the La Santas, which raised more than $41,000 for the family, says Jay-Natalie was "a little person with a big personality" who loved music and being cuddled. "We call her the Warrior Princess because she fought Covid-19 like nobody's business!!!!" the post on the baby reads. "We thought we were having a baby, but had an angel instead." (Read more coronavirus stories.)