Family mourns Los Encinos elementary teacher's death

Posted at 12:26 PM, Aug 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-18 10:50:36-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — A veteran Corpus Christi Independent School District teacher died Friday of COVID-19 complications.

Christina Reyna spent 24 years with the district, having taught Pre-K, Kindergarten, and first grade at Los Encinos Elementary School. She also taught at Crossley and Schanen Estates elementaries.

According to Los Encinos Elementary Principal Christine Sierra, Reyna hadn't been on-campus since June.

She was supposed to teach first grade this school year, and had plans to retire at the end of the school year, according to her sister, Delfina Hernandez.

Hernandez said about five weeks ago their parents -- who live with Reyna and her family -- suspected they had COVID-19. Their mother went to the hospital on a Monday; their dad went to the hospital on a Wednesday.

About a week and a half later, Reyna’s husband called an ambulance because she hadn’t been feeling well for about a week.

Hernandez and her brother, Alfonso Ramirez Jr., believe the virus spread in the household.

“I’m a nurse, and every day I go there I think ‘OK, it could be me,’" Hernandez said. "Never in a million years could we have expected that it could be three family members. We actually had more family members that were infected, but they were the worst ones."

Reyna originally was admitted for kidney failure when she tested positive for COVID-19. The family said Reyna was intubated, and was taken to a Houston hospital where doctors ran tests. She was scheduled to undergo a procedure but became unstable. She was never able to be extubated.

The family said Reyna’s father recently also died of COVID-19 complications.

“I just think people need to take things seriously when it comes to (COVID-19)," Ramirez said. "It’s out there, we need to protect ourselves, we need to protect our family members and the close people that are around us. Enjoy life and treasure it because our world got turned upside down just within the last month and we’d give anything to have it back to the way it was a few months ago."

The family said there has been a small blessing through it all, Reyna’s mother was released from the hospital and is now COVID-19 free.

“People need to be safe," Hernandez said. "People need to follow all the guidelines and just really take it seriously because our family has been really impacted by it. She leaves behind children and a husband and my mother. We’re having to deal with a lot of loss right now. Nobody should have to go through all that when there’s so many things you can do to prevent it."

Reyna leaves behind a husband and two children, ages 15 and 13.

Reyna’s brother and sister said her Reyna's children were her pride and joy, and that she was known for bringing the family together.