Florida teen on ventilator after COVID diagnosis; had not yet received COVID-19 vaccine

Teen's mother who had COVID vaccine suffering milder case of disease

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Tuesday, July 27, 2021
'This virus is not a joke': FL girl, 15, with COVID on ventilator
"This virus is not a joke. It's a real thing," the girl's brother said.

BROWARD COUNTY, Fla. -- A Florida family is desperate for a miracle after their loved one, a 15-year-old girl, is now in critical condition, fighting COVID-19.

"Just seeing her like that is really heartbreaking," Tomas Velasquez told WPLG.

His sister, 15-year old Paulina Velasquez, is on a ventilator.

Her brother can't even visit because of COVID restrictions.

RELATED: Teen dies from COVID 2 days after diagnosis

"I just want to tell people: This virus is not a joke. It's a real thing," he said. "Before this, my sister was 100% healthy, 15-year old girl, always wore her mask, never took it off in public, and this still managed to happen."

But inside of the intensive care room is Paulina Velasquez's mother, Agnieszka Velasquez.

"Today, she's here next to me," Agnieszka Velasquez said. "I talk to her every day and every night."

Paulina Velasquez is in a medically induced coma. The usually bubbly teen deteriorated fast after testing positive for COVID-19 two weeks ago. She could barely walk herself into the ER.

"They said they have to put her under the ventilator, and that was the worst thing I could ever experience. Why my baby? Why not me?" her mother said.

RELATED: 2 teens in ICU more than 12 weeks with COVID

Agnieszka Velasquez is also fighting a milder case of COVID, despite being vaccinated months ago.

The 15-year-old had not yet received the shot.

"They told me, also, 'if you leave, you can't come back.' So I'm not leaving anywhere. I have all my vitamins here. I said, 'we came together; we'll go back home together,'" the girl's mother said.

Her brother has faith in his sister, as well.

"I can just feel her in my heart, and I know she's gonna get through this," he said.