More than $68,000 has been raised for a Texan boy after he died of suspected hypothermia following playing in the snow during the winter storm.
A GoFundMe was created in honour of Cristian Pavón Pineda, 11, who he died on Tuesday in the family’s unheated mobile home in Conroe, Texas, which is just north of Houston.
“Due to low temperatures seen in the Conroe area, this family went without electricity for two days. The early morning of 16 February dropped to 12 degrees,” a statement on the GoFundMe page read.
“Cristian was found lifeless. We are trying to raise funds to be able to transfer the body to Honduras. His wish was to see his grandparents again and that is what the mother wants to fulfill, please help with whatever you can in order to hopefully be able to achieve this, God bless you,” the statement continued.
Initially only $5,000 was asked from the public, the Cristian’s tragic death sparked an influx of donations that now exceeds more than $68,000 for the family.
Investigators were still working to determine the cause of death for the child, but his family believes it was from hypothermia. LIke millions of other Texans, they were left without power for multiple days during the winter storm.
Cristian first came to the United States in 2019 to reunite with his mother, whom he hadn’t seen for over one year, according to Univision.
On Monday, the child was playing out in the snow amid the winter storm, as it was the first time he had ever seen snow. His mother even took videos of the moment the young boy, donned in a red jacket, was playing outside.
“Everything was well,” María Elisa Pineda, Cristian’s mother, told the Houston Chronicle. “He was happy that day. He was not at all sick.”
But the next day Cristian was found dead underneath a pile of blankets after his family initially thought he was sleeping.
The cold spell that overtook several states, including Texas, has left at least 47 people dead in the US. The death toll in Texas stands at 30 people, according to The Washington Post.
One 75-year-old man from Texas died from hypothermia after he went outside to grab an oxygen tank from his truck. Then a 60-year-old man from Abilene, Texas, reportedly froze to death in his recliner with his wife next to him. The wife was taken to the hospital, officials said.
At least five people have died from carbon monoxide poisoning after attempting to sleep in their car to stay warm, The Washington Post reports. One grandmother and three children perished in a house fire in Sugar Land, Texas, in their attempt to stay warm.
The winter storm has since passed with temperatures on the rise in Texas. But it has left behind a food and water shortage for residents across the state, as well as frustration about the failed electric system that caused days-long blackouts in residential homes.
President Joe Biden approved emergency disaster relief for Texas on Saturday to assist the state as it recovers from the winter storm.