Isabel Frausto recently lost her mom to COVID-19. Frausto says she knew her mom was sick, having struggled with diabetes, and was immunocompromised but figured her chances were strong at beating COVID-19. She says her mom has always beaten the odds, even when doctors have said her chances at survival have been low in the past.
Angelica Andres, 58, is from Oaxaca, Mexico, and is a grandmother and mother to seven children. Before the pandemic broke out, Andres was working as a housekeeper. Back in early November, when Andres started to feel sick, Frausto didn’t think much of her symptoms, not enough to think COVID-19 was even a possibility. By Thanksgiving, Andres's condition had worsened, forcing her to seek medical attention at the hospital, with staff alluding to the severity of her situation and the impact it was having on her lungs.
“We had no idea it was affecting her lungs because she didn't have a cough, and didn't have a cold,” Frausto said.
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Frausto says the following month was extreme, saying her mom would be switched to two different hospitals because the first one ran out of room.
Luckily, things would look up not long after.
Frausto’s mom would soon test negative for COVID-19. Frausto figured her mom had finally reached the safe ground and was no longer in danger, but doctors told Frausto her mom wasn’t yet out of the woods. She could still catch an infection, though her chances were minimal. Andres ended up catching four infections. Frausto was unable to visit her mom due to the current restrictions in place at hospitals and could only see her through video calls.
“But it’s really hard to see how much they’re suffering in there,” Frausto said. “You’re just talking to them trying to make them feel good, give them emotional support when just by looking at them, all you want to do is cry.”
Frausto told NBC 7 by the fourth infection, doctors said they couldn’t do much more and that she was no longer responding to the ventilator. Frausto said there was no choice but to take her off the ventilator given her frail state and the pain a potential cardiac arrest could cause her.
Andres says it was difficult to lose her in the moment but says she’s grateful COVID-19 had at least left her system so she could say goodbye to her mom in person.
The family has set up a GoFundMe page to help with funeral expenses.