BROWARD COUNTY, Fla. – A teenage girl is on a ventilator and in critical condition after testing positive for COVID-19.
The girl’s mother, who is fully vaccinated, also has tested positive.
They’re among the many new cases as dangerous variants surge across South Florida.
Tomas Velasquez, the brother of 15-year-old Paulina Valasquez, can’t even visit his sister because of Covid safety restrictions.
“I just want to tell people this virus is not a joke, it’s a real thing,” he said. “Before this, my sister was 100 percent healthy. Fifteen-year-old girl, always wore her mask, never took it off in public and this still managed to happen.”
Inside of the girl’s intensive care room at Broward Health’s Main Campus in Fort Lauderdale is her mother, Agnieszka.
“I talk to her every day and every night,” she said.
Valasquez has been placed in a medically induced coma.
The usually bubbly teen deteriorated fast after testing positive for COVID-19 two weeks ago. She could barely walk herself into the emergency room.
“The oxygen flow from her brain to her lungs…they said they have to put her under the ventilator and that was the worst thing I could ever experience,” the girl’s mother said. “Why my baby? Why not me?”
Agnieszka Valasquez is also fighting a milder case of Covid, despite being vaccinated months ago.
The teenage Paulina had yet to get her shot.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the family with mounting hospital bills as faith and hope guide the future in the ICU.
To visit the page, click here.
“They told me, ‘Also, if you leave, you can’t come back,’ so I’m not leaving anywhere,” said Agnieszka. “I have all my vitamins here. I said, ‘We came together, and we’ll go back home together.’”