LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — The family of a 31-year-old coronavirus patient pleaded Wednesday for people to take the virus seriously.
“This virus, it does not discriminate,” Veronica Santibanez said. “If you think you are healthy, that you won’t get it, my little sister has no health conditions, nothing, and she’s here fighting for her life.”READ MORE: Driver Wanted After Hitting, Then Dropping Pedestrian From Car During LAPD Car Chase
Santibanez said her sister Janet, a single mother from Fontana, started to experience symptoms such as vomiting, fatigue and trouble breathing about a week and a half ago.
“We have no idea, we don’t know where she got it from,” Santibanez said. “She does not know where she got it from. We don’t know if it’s from work, we don’t know if it’s from out of work. We just have no idea.”
Janet, who works as a nursing assistant at Loma Linda University Medical Center, was hospitalized last week due to complications of the novel coronavirus.
And while most ICU patients must isolate from family and loved ones, Santibanez said her sister was lucky to be able to see a familiar face — their other sister, Maribel Mass, who is an ICU nurse at the same hospital.READ MORE: Newsom, Calif. Lawmakers Reach Deal To Reopen Schools By End Of March
“It’s a blessing knowing that she’s there with her and that she’s not alone in this,” Santibanez said.
Santibanez said Mass has been picking up extra shifts just to be near their sister.
“She is there,” Santibanez said. “She can’t do anything medically for her, but she is there holding her hand. She is there telling her, ‘JJ, keep fighting. You’ve got this.’ Just giving her hope, telling her not to give up.”
But while Janet fights for her life in the ICU, her sisters are begging for people to take the virus seriously.
“It’s very important for people to understand to wear their masks, to social distance,” Santibanez said. “Because I do not wish this, what I’m feeling, what my family is going through, on anybody.”MORE NEWS: LAUSD Opens COVID Vaccine Site At SoFI Stadium Monday For Education Staff Only
Janet was given a trial of the drug Remdesivir and was also placed on the list for a convalescent plasma donation.