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After battle with COVID-19 in medically induced coma, 15-year-old girl takes first steps at Broward hospital

After being cared for at Broward Health’s intensive care unit,15-year old Paulina Velasquez is awake and alert, and on Wednesday she walked for the first time.

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.”

Local teen makes miraculous recovery after being in coma with COVID-19

About the Author:

Janine Stanwood joined Local 10 News in February 2004 as an assignment editor. She is now a general assignment reporter. Before moving to South Florida from her Washington home, Janine was the senior legislative correspondent for a United States senator on Capitol Hill.