A devoted mother in Florida has vowed never to leave the hospital room where her teen daughter has been battling COVID-19. Agnes Velasquez has been living at the Broward Health Medical Center ICU since her 15-year-old girl, Paulina Velasquez, entered the facility after testing positive for the virus.
According to People, Paulina has not yet been vaccinated when she developed symptoms of COVID-19 on July 11. Agnes has the symptoms, which she likely got from her daughter, but her condition is very mild since she received the vaccine.
A week later, Paulina needed to be hospitalized after she complained that she could not breathe. Her mother said that the teen battling COVID-19 has had her life altered "rapidly." In a matter of days, Paulina had to be ventilated and subjected to a medically induced coma.
However, the mother is hopeful that her daughter will recover as there are improving signs that she might be taken off the ventilator. Angela hasn't stopped praying for Paulina's health. She makes it a point to talk to her every day, even as the teen lies unconscious because she wants to encourage her daughter to fight for her life.
In the Recovery Stage
Dr. Jennifer Davis, one of Paulina's doctors, told Fox News that the teen battling COVID-19 came to the hospital as a "very, very ill" and unstable patient. They have never seen worrying cases of the virus infection among the younger generation during the first wave of the pandemic. Fortunately, Davis' medical team has assessed that Paulina is well on her way to recovery.
Paulina's brother, Tomas, said that his sister has no pre-existing conditions, and she is generally a "perfectly healthy" teenager. She was also careful about exposure and protected herself with a face mask.
Tomas said that her sister expressed her desire to get vaccinated, especially with the risks of the Delta variant. Only about 30 percent of children between the ages of 12 to 17 years old in the U.S. have had their jab.
Take the Vaccines, Wear Masks
Angela said that this experience had shown them the value of taking the vaccine. Tomas and another brother are currently waiting for a call from the vaccination facilities. The mother also told CNN that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis should encourage the people to get their shots and observe basic safety protocols like wearing a face mask.
It comes as a spokesperson for DeSantis said in a recent press conference that it's up to the parents to decide for their kids when it comes to masking. The statement came despite recommendations from both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) to enforce a face mask, a requirement in schools and in public places where there are higher risks of transmission.
Florida's new cases account for 20 percent of the country's overall cases, prompting Florida International University infectious disease expert Dr. Aileen Marty to call on the public to wear a mask and get vaccinated.
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