Texas Mom Can't Return to the Home Where 11-Year-Old Son Died Amid Recent Power Outage
María Elisa Pineda lost her son Cristian amid the Texas snowstorm that has caused many deaths already. Now, she is terrified to return to the home they used to share.
Honduran immigrant María Elisa Pineda is the mother of late Cristian Pavón Pineda, who sadly died at 11. The youngster died from suspected hypothermia, during a power outage in Conroe, Texas, amid the state’s unprecedented winter storm.
Cristian reportedly died in his sleep of hypothermia on February 15, 2021, after the mobile home where María lived with her husband and two children lost power for several hours. The devastated mother found her child unresponsive in bed.
Now, María, who also shares a 3-year-old stepson with her husband, sees herself unable to return to the place she used to call home after her son passed away there. She cannot face the feelings the place gives her.
"It makes me feel scared and horrible that my son died there. I don't think I will ever go back there. I will look for another place to live and move my things. I can't be there ever again," María told People.
FIRST TIME SEEING SNOW
María, her husband, and her children moved to Texas from Honduras two years before this tragic event and the rare snowfall in the state that has caused at least 30 deaths marked the first time Cristian saw and played in the snow.
Neither María nor Cristian ever imagined it was also going to be his last time. The mother recalled how thrilled Cristian was when he went to play outside the home as she took pictures of him in the snow.
María shared that despite losing power a few hours earlier, she didn’t think they needed to find another shelter for the night, and she put Cristian and his 3-year-old stepbrother under a pile of blankets at 10 p.m.
But when María went to wake her children up the next morning, Cristian was already dead, and while the official cause of death hasn’t been issued, the family is convinced that it was the cold that took the boy away from them.
As snow blanketed much of Texas on Sunday, an 11-year-old gleefully played outside. It was his first time seeing snow.— Texas Tribune (@TexasTribune) February 19, 2021
Less than 24 hours later, as temperatures plunged to near single digits and homes lost power, the boy died. https://t.co/LiaH0BfGqS
Now, a GoFundMe page has been established to raise funds to send the late child’s remains to the family’s home country, and about $60,000 has already been collected.
LESSONS TO BE LEARNED
María also hopes that her son’s death raises awareness for other families to understand the risks of not having the proper shelter during a snowstorm. She encouraged others in her situation to seek help.
Mother of 11-year-old boy who died during a blackout amid a winter storm is suing the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, alleging gross negligence led to her son's death and that the “energy provider made decisions based on profits.” https://t.co/a398ZC0bTI— MSNBC (@MSNBC) February 23, 2021
But Cristian’s mother also points out the government’s responsibility to millions of Texas residents that lost power when it was most crucial to surviving. María believes that the government should have come up with a solution earlier.
"So many people have had things happen and are suffering in cold houses. Even more so when there are kids who suffer. It's not ok," María told People.
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