Lives Lost: Parents hoped baby Kobe would play basketball

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This photo provided by Ronnel Manjares shows Kobe Christ Manjares during a video call with him, upper right, at a hospital in metropolitan Manila, Philippines, Tuesday, June 2, 2020. Manjares' 16-day-old son Kobe was heralded as the country's youngest COVID-19 survivor. But the relief and joy proved didn't last. Three days later, Kobe died on June 4 from complications of Hirschsprung disease, a rare birth defect. (Ronnel Manjares via AP)

TANAUAN – He was heralded in the Philippines as the country’s youngest COVID-19 survivor, a baby who’d become infected with and conquered the coronavirus during his first 16 days of life.

To Ronnel Manjares and Trisha May Noche, he was Kobe Christ, their second child.

Noche wanted her son to grow up playing basketball, just like his father. The couple named him after American basketball legend Kobe Bryant, who died in a helicopter crash early this year.

“I added Christ after he was born on Easter Sunday,” Manjares said.


EDITOR’S NOTE: This is part of an ongoing series of stories remembering people from around the world who have died during the coronavirus pandemic.


The young parents prepared for Kobe’s arrival during a challenging time.