As COVID-19 cases rapidly rise in South Florida, a mother is sharing a warning while her 15-year-old is hospitalized with the virus and fighting for her life in the ICU.
Paulina Velasquez was admitted to Broward Health on July 17 after testing positive for COVID-19. Paulina’s mother, Agnes, also tested positive. Though her symptoms are mild, that’s not the case with Paulina.
“Every minute I have the chance, I grab her hand and pray and tell her everything is going to be okay,” said Agnes Velasquez, Paulina’s mother.
Agnes hasn’t left her daughter’s side for the nine days she’s been in the ICU. Doctors hooked up Paulina to a ventilator and put her into a medically induced coma.
“It’s very hard, my heart is broken into a million pieces. I keep asking God, why, why my daughter, why not me in that bed?” Agnes said.
The family is in disbelief that their young, vibrant girl could be this sick. The teen was also diagnosed with pneumonia.
Agnes is vaccinated but her daughter isn’t, but she says she was always diligent about wearing her mask.
“It was a real shock. There were no preexisting medical conditions with her, she was a perfectly healthy 15-year-old, just someone who loved life. It was just a shock to all of us,” said Tomas Velasquez, Paulina’s bother.
Her mother said she is slowly improving but it's still unclear how long she’ll be hospitalized. Doctors telling the family it could be weeks.
“Seeing my daughter laying in her bed not able to say anything. Not, 'Mommy I love you,'" she said.
The family says Paulina will have a long road to recovery because she will need extensive physical therapy to relearn the basics like walking, eating and drinking.