FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Paulina Velasquez has come a long way.
From being on a ventilator in a medically induced coma and fighting for survival after contracting COVID-19 in early July, the 15-year-old was sitting up in her hospital bed and surrounded by her emotional parents on Wednesday, going over the unbelievable journey.
“I’m feeling much better, just happy that I’m not under that ventilator anymore,” Velasquez said. “I was very scared because I had Covid, and I didn’t know I was going to stay here for that many days. I couldn’t breathe, I had back pain.”
After being cared for at Broward Health’s intensive care unit, she is awake and alert, and on Wednesday she walked for the first time.
Doctors say this new wave of cases fueled by the Delta Variant is increasingly affecting children.
Velasquez, an otherwise healthy and vibrant teenager, was not yet vaccinated.
She and her grateful family said she now plans to get a shot and encouraged others to do the same.
“I think you guys should take the vaccine,” Velasquez said. “It’s very important. I don’t want anyone to go through what I went through or what my parents went through.”