(CNN) — A Florida teenager who spent 11 days with a ventilator after contracting COVID-19 has a message for her peers and others.
“My message, technically, is: if you are eligible to receive the vaccine, please do so,” Paulina Velasquez told CNN from her home in Coral Springs, Florida. “I plan to get vaccinated as soon as my doctor lets us know when I can.”
Paulina, 15, intended to get vaccinated earlier this summer. But then he constipated and the headaches came. He lost his sense of taste and smell. Breathing became difficult.
On July 11, Paulina tested positive for covid-19. Less than a week later, the healthy and energetic high school sophomore was in the emergency room of a Fort Lauderdale hospital struggling to breathe normally.
It was very scary, he said.
Because her oxygen levels were low, doctors immediately put her on a ventilator.
“That was the scariest moment when they told me because I didn’t know what to expect,” Agnes Velasquez said. At first, she did not want her daughter to have a fan, but was told that her daughter’s condition could get worse.
Then he told the medical staff, “Just do what you can to save my daughter’s life.”
Paulina also had pneumonia and was put into a medically induced coma. Her mother made the decision to stay in her daughter’s room, from where, she was told, she could not leave.
Agnes Velasquez told CNN last month that every day she told her daughter, “Fight for your life.”
Paulina’s physician, Dr. Venu Devabhaktuni, medical director of Broward Health’s Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (ICU), said the teenager’s situation was “unpredictable” while on the ventilator.
“Things could have gone bad quickly, but she recovered because she is a healthy young girl. That I think was in favor of her recovery,” Devabhaktuni said.
After almost a month, Paulina was well enough to go home.
Now he does physical therapy to get stronger. Her arms and legs are still weak, but she is now able to walk on her own.
You also have to work to relearn how to lift and hold things.
Paulina said she improves every day and wants others to avoid a similar experience.
“It is a very serious virus. This virus does not choose who to infect,” he said, in his words addressed to the unvaccinated. “He could hit you as hard as me. And I don’t want anyone to go through what I went through.”
Doctors say that when Paulina is strong enough, she can get vaccinated.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism