coronavirus pandemic

College Student Left to Care for Family After 5 Test Positive for Coronavirus

"I had to grow up. I had to grow up in a matter of less than two months," said Hannah Kim, a Cal State LA student who is 22 years old.

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A Koreatown family of five tested positive for coronavirus, and now a college student is left to care for her younger brother after her dad and grandma died, and her mother is fighting for her life with a lung transplant as her only hope.

"I had to grow up. I had to grow up in a matter of less than two months," said Hannah Kim, who is 22 years old.

Her Koreatown apartment was the last place her family was together before coronavirus took her grandma and father’s life.

"I had to see him talking to me for the last time over Zoom. He never cries but he was crying and he was telling me I’m sorry," she said.

During that time, Kim and her 17-year-old brother were left quarantined alone because their mother was also admitted into the ICU with coronavirus.

She fought to get healthy, and eventually did test negative for COVID-19.

But last week, her recovery took a turn. Her lungs were just too damaged.

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"She can’t breathe on her own. The machine is doing the breathing for her," Kim said.

Kim said the only way to save her mom now is a lung transplant, and she’s working with her insurance, LA Care, hoping to get her transferred to UCLA or USC Medical Centers to start the process.

Kim believes despite her age, if her 60-year-old mom gets a lung transplant, her chances of survival are high.

"Right before she got on the ventilator, I asked her, 'Hey do you have a will to fight? Are you going to live with us? Do you have energy to fight this?' She said yes,'" Kim said.

With her mom now as her focus, the Cal State LA student has also been shouldering the bills and caring for her younger brother, on top of learning they’re being evicted from their apartment.

But Kim said she’s thankful for those helping to ease some of the financial burden.

"People are showing us a sense of community and it shows me there are good people out there and care for one another and are willing to give back," she said.

The GoFundMe to help pay for medical expenses has already surpassed an amazing $248,000, however there is a $350,000 goal. See it here.

Kim also has a published diary of this experience with coronavirus here.

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