The daughter of the first patient in the Houston region to test positive for the COVID-19 virus is speaking out to make people aware that the virus is a serious matter.
The woman, who did not want to be identified, spoke to us over the phone Thursday evening from her home in Austin. Her father and mother were among the group of travelers who were on the cruise in Egypt. The woman says her parents, like many active seniors, frequently went on vacation with their friends.
In this case, the couple, who live in Fort Bend County, went on the Egyptian cruise and returned Feb. 20.
"I call my mom every Wednesday," said the woman. "I called her after they returned and she said that dad wasn't feeling well, and we just thought he had a cold."
On March 4, the woman made her weekly phone call to her mother, and that's when she learned her father had been admitted to the hospital. The woman says she wishes her mother would have called her earlier, but mom apparently didn't want to worry her daughter.
Since then, the woman says her father's condition is stable at the local hospital. Her mother is quarantined in her home.
"She has two refrigerators full of food," said the woman, assuring us that her mother is feeling fine.
The woman has spoken to her father a few times, but since he is isolated, communications are a bit challenging.
"We are hoping he recovers soon," she said. "But it will be a long road."
ABC13 is not identifying the hospital he is at, nor are we giving out additional information about the family.
The woman wanted to emphasize that her main reason for speaking out is to remind everyone that the novel coronavirus is serious and that people should not think of it as overhyped.
"People can get it, and they can get very sick," she said, adding the whole experience has been "surreal."
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