Vickie raised her two kids, Larry and Katrina, as a single mother, after she lost her husband to a car accident in 1988. The trio was each other’s everything. When KCRA 3 spoke with her, Vickie found herself between two worlds: grief and hope.
“Living a bittersweet situation right now, like, I want to be happy, but I’m sad,” said Vickie, who asked KCRA 3 to not share her last name.
Vickie said her 41-year-old son, Larry, had to undergo emergency surgery back in late January. He was admitted into the hospital and did not test positive for COVID-19 at the time.
“He was really scared. Scared, scared, scared. He says, ‘Mom, there is so many sick people in here with COVID.'”
But when he came back home to his family — including his mom, wife, kids, nephews brother-in-law and pregnant sister — he was even sicker.
Then, on Feb. 1, Vickie’s world came crashing when Larry died of heart complications and COVID-19.
“My only son. I love him so much. He had so many, not dreams, plans,” Vickie told KCRA 3.
Days later, worry added to heartbreak, as the virus spread among the entire family — including Katrina, who was 28 weeks pregnant with a little boy.
“Over and over and over again, all the doctors, everybody, my daughter was not going to make it,” Vickie recalled.
Before Katrina was placed under a medically induced coma, she made her mother a promise.
“She goes, ‘I got you and I love you.’ I said, ‘Please promise me you’re going to come home,'” Vicki said.
Eleven days after losing Larry, the family was sent a hopeful sign, in the form of 3 pounds, 16 ounces, born via C-section.
“Oh god, I can’t wait ’til he comes home, I mean, that’s Miracle Mateo. That’s my baby,” Vickie said.
After two and a half weeks in the hospital, Katrina kept her promise to her mother.
“I was just so confident that, I’m gonna make it, I’m gonna be OK,” Katrina said. “A lot of people are just like, you guys are two miracles. So he got stuck with the miracle Mateo, and I’m just the miracle.”
Katrina told KCRA 3 that she came out of the coma confused, but with the help and support of her family, she was able to recover, and her son continues to grow stronger each day in the NICU.
“And then when they told me my daughter was alive my God!” Vickie remembered joyously.
This family has shown that COVID-19 can break our hearts, but resilience can help to mend it.
“We’re gonna keep it going, we’re gonna keep the memories. Do what [Larry] wanted to do,” Katrina said of her brother.
Katrina has had some COVID-19-related health effects and undergoes physical therapy. The family hopes “Miracle Mateo” will be able to come home by this weekend. The baby was born with a heart murmur and may have to undergo surgery due to his premature birth, but he was born free from COVID-19.