‘She Has Lost Them All’: Garvin Co. Teen Loses Mother Months After Father, Sister Die Of COVID-19

Thursday, September 16th 2021, 10:37 pm
By: Clayton Cummins

ELMORE CITY, Oklahoma -

A Garvin County community is rallying behind a high school student after she lost three family members in the course of 9 months.

Angelica Lara’s mother, Laticia, died on September 7 due to an unknown medical condition.

The devastating news comes several months after Lara’s sister and father lost their battle to COVID-19.

Lara’s sister, Liliana, was disabled and suffered from respiratory problems. She died in November 2020.

In December 2020, Lara lost her father Romero.

“There is really no making sense of it, you just have to take it one step at a time,” said Lara’s aunt, Amanda Balbantin. “Luckily, we are a very tight knit family.”

Balbantin said Romero and Laticia just celebrated their 25th wedding university.

When Laticia got sick, Balbantin said family could not find an open ICU bed.

The family is waiting for the state’s medical examiner to determine a cause of death.

“Out of a family of 5, I would say COVID took three of the five,” said Balbantin. “Yes, my sister-in-law didn’t have COVID, but we couldn’t find an ICU bed because of COVID. If this would have been three years ago, we may not of had this problem and she may still be alive.

Two Elmore City-Pernell High School teachers have stepped up to help launch a Facebook fundraiser to help pay Angelica’s senior fees, college and funeral expenses.

Lara said the support has been comforting.

“It helps to know that I have so much love and support from my teachers, my family and my friends. Even people that don’t know me,” said Lara. “It really does help.”

Family continues taking one day at a time in figuring out what’s next.

“I consider myself very lucky because I can pick up the phone and I can call my mom. I can call my dad. I can call my sister,” said Balbantin. “I still have them, but she has lost them all.”

In addition to the Facebook fundraiser, Donations can be made at the Elmore City-Pernell High School or Paul’s Valley National Bank.

A Facebook page has been set up for people to follow Angelcia’s progress.

The family has also established a Paypal account for donations.