A 17-year-old boy from California killed himself four months after his dad died of COVID after blaming himself for the fatal infection by asking his family to attend his high school pep rally.

The Reyes Family of Five – mother Stephanie, father Anthony Sr. 46 and their three teenage children – was brimming over with hope as they prepared for their move to Whittier in August 2021.

The Los Angeles family has been hit by two tragic tragedies over the past four months. Anthony Sr died from the virus in the September after being first diagnosed. Unfortunately, Anthony Jr. (17) took his own death earlier in the month. Stephanie Reyes was left devastated and helpless by his double loss. 

Anthony Jr blamed himself and his mother for the death of his dad. His mom stated that Anthony Jr was traumatized from being the last to visit his dying father at hospital.  

Reyes, 37 years old, is now responsible for raising Reyna’s two remaining daughters, Marissa and Marissa.

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Anthony Reyes Sr. (left), was a divorced father of four and died from COVID September 11, 2021. Anthony Jr., his 17-year-old son, committed suicide four months later. 

Stephanie Reyes, 37, says her son was blaming himself for his father's death because he had invited his family to a pep rally, where they all likely contracted COVID

Stephanie Reyes (37), says that her son blamed himself for the death of his father because he invited his family along to a pep rally where all three likely contracted COVID. 

According to the Los Angeles Times, the grieving mother said that the 17-year old considered himself to be responsible for the father’s COVID diagnosis. He had invited his family along to school and they were all most likely to have contracted it. 

Anthony Jr. suffered from depression. He wrote in August 2020 that he had to write a school essay about how the Pandemic caused him to lose contact with his family and his girlfriend. 

They were worried about the side effects of COVID and their other medical conditions. 

Anthony Reyes, Sr. was 46 years old and worked at a power station when he contracted the virus. He and his family were with him during this time.

The father-of-3, who was suffering from a pre-existing condition of the heart, was admitted to hospital within a week.  

Anthony Jr, known as 'Papi,' struggled with depression during the pandemic

He wrote about his mental health issues in a school essay in 2020

Anthony Jr. was known as Papi and suffered depression during the Pandemic. In 2020, he wrote a school essay about mental health. 

The Reyeses, pictured when the children were younger, were unvaccinated against COVID because they had concerns about medical conditions and side effects

Pictured when children were smaller, the Reyeses weren’t vaccinated against COVID as they were worried about health conditions or side effects.  

Stephanie stated that her husband died from the virus in September 2011. Stephanie made the fateful decision to let their son see them one more time to say goodbye. 

“My son was determined to see his father.” [and]I gave up on my best judgment and let him go. Fox 11 reported it as the biggest mistake she had made.

Anthony Jr. said that he was haunted from childhood by his dying father’s image in his hospital bed with blood in the corner.  

Stephanie spoke out about her son’s feelings of guilt in the months and weeks following his father’s passing. He felt that he caused us to get sick. We talked to him often and said that he felt like he was responsible for his father’s death.

According to the widowed mother, she tried desperately for professional help as her son was suffering from worsening depression. But all of the therapists that she called were full. 

Stephanie was able to wake up at 4 am on 28/12/2008 and see the light in her son’s room. 

Stephanie (2nd R) said she tried to get help for her struggling son after her husband's death but could not find an available therapist

Stephanie (2nd R.) claimed that she tried to help her struggling son following the death of her husband, but was unable to locate a therapist. 

“I knock on the front door of his bedroom and I am like: “Hello, child, it’s four in the morning. What are you doing?” Stephanie recounted. 

The mother realized then that Anthony Jr., who she fondly called ‘Papi’, had taken his own death.  

“He had disappeared.” I couldn’t believe my baby’s gone,’ she raid.

Stephanie will be laying her son to sleep on Saturday. She is speaking publicly to share her grief and raise awareness about depression among children. 

GoFundMe A campaign was launched to assist single mothers with funeral costs.  

  • Call the National Suicide Prevention Line at 1-800-273-8255 for confidential assistance