Indio Single Mom of Four Dies From COVID-19

Kamari Esquerra

Jenny Gutierrez was a beloved daughter, cousin, friend, and coworker, but most importantly, she was a devoted mother to her young children. None of them could have imagined her life gone so soon, but now that’s their reality. 

“About a month and a half ago is when she contracted COVID, along with her 4 children,” said Christine Whitener, mother of Jenny Gutierrez.

Gutierrez tested positive for COVID-19 on Oct. 16. Her children recovered, but Gutierrez’s health worsened.

“It wasn’t a week later that she asked her son to take her to the hospital because she could not breathe,” said Whitener.

She stayed on a ventilator unable to breathe on her own or verbally communicate with her family.

“We thought she would get better but…,” said Whitener. 

After spending more than three weeks in the hospital fighting for her life, Gutierrez passed away on Tuesday, Nov. 9, at the age of 39. 

Gutierrez leaves behind four children, all between the ages of seven and 21.  

“They looked to their mom for everything,” said Whitener.

“It’s an enormous financial burden for her children,” said Villeneuve. “They’re young. They don’t have any source of income.”

Gutierrez worked at the Circle K convenience store on the corner of Fred Waring and Clinton Street. She was with the company for ten years and worked as a store manager for five years,  oftentimes picking up extra night and weekend shifts to make ends meet.

“She always had the best happy go lucky attitude. Very loving, she loved her kids,” said Villeneuve. “She did everything for her children.”

“Hard working mom,” said Whitener. “Very hard-working mom.”

The company has set up donation jars at local Circle K stores to help the family. The family has also created a GoFundMe page to support the children who are now without their mother.

“It’s gonna be a long, long road ahead for her kids,” said Villeneuve. 

“(They’re taking it) one day at a time,” said Whitener. “One day at a time.”

To donate to the family’s GoFundMe page, visit the link here.

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