‘God Is Helping Me Fight for My Life’

January 19, 2021 • United States

Samaritan’s Purse is bringing medical help and hope to communities in Los Angeles County, California, overwhelmed by COVID-19.

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When Adriana regained consciousness, she woke to a frantic husband and son. She recalled her throat swelling in the bathroom and then the terrifying moments just before she passed out.

Adriana Alejandre declined quickly and dangerously once she began displaying COVID-19 symptoms. She was admitted to our Emergency Field Hospital just days after her symptoms started.

Adriana declined quickly and dangerously once she began displaying COVID-19 symptoms. She was admitted to our Emergency Field Hospital just days after her symptoms started.

“My body would not relax for me. I went to the bathroom, and my throat started swelling,” Adriana said. “I couldn’t hear, and my son was crying, ‘Mom, wake up, please.’ Suddenly I couldn’t see anything, only black, and then I couldn’t hear his voice anymore.”

Adriana began experiencing coronavirus symptoms on Jan. 12—headache, followed by a fever—and by the time she sought medical care her symptoms were frightening, with quickly declining oxygen levels.

She was one of the first patients transferred to the Samaritan’s Purse Emergency Field Hospital from Antelope Valley Hospital, our partnering medical center in Lancaster, California. Lancaster lies in Los Angeles County about one hour north of the city.

Adriana is one of more than 20 patients already being treated by our medical staff for COVID-19. A team of more than 60 disaster response specialists—including 40 medical personnel—are working around the clock in Southern California as the number of cases continues to rise.

Samaritan’s Purse opened the 54-bed field hospital on January 16. This marks the third location in the United States where we have constructed a Samaritan’s Purse field hospital to treat novel coronavirus patients in Jesus’ Name. Our first stateside response was in New York City last April. We just opened another Emergency Field Hospital 12 days ago in western North Carolina.

“I pray for the strength from God,” said Adriana, who has lived in nearby Palmdale for more than 11 years with her husband and three children. “My family misses me, and they need me, but God is helping me fight for my life.”

Update: We praise God that Adriana was released Jan. 18 from our hospital to return home to her family following her days-long battle with the illness.

COMBATING COVID-19

The number of COVID-19 cases has overwhelmed Los Angeles County healthcare facilities. Reports are showing that a patient in Los Angeles County dies from the virus every six minutes. Antelope Valley Hospital has the third busiest emergency room in California, and they are down approximately 175-200 staff due to the pandemic.

Adriana described the frightening hours in which her symptoms worsened dangerously.

Adriana described the frightening hours in which her symptoms worsened dangerously.

“I think that what we see with the healthcare workers at this hospital is that they no longer are running on adrenaline; they’re just worn out,” said Dr. Bob Spencer, a physician on our medical team who has deployed six times with Samaritan’s Purse, including with our COVID-19 responses in Cremona, Italy, and in Nassau, the Bahamas.

Our team is partnering with Antelope Valley Hospital for at least a month as we continue to assess needs in the area. We are committed to provide medical care and support to the healthcare system as long as needed.

“When I look at the people around me—the patients who are stricken—they are still ravaged by the illness. We are helping them get through by providing care and trying to help them protect their family members,” Dr. Bob said.

“The biggest hope I have for our time here is the relief of patients and the staff and their families. We want that suffering relieved as much as we can,” he continued. “That burden is taking down the whole society, and that’s the first step.”

Please pray for the families impacted by COVID-19 and for those fighting to regain their strength. Please also pray for medical workers providing care and for our teams working around the clock to give hope and high-quality care in a difficult situation.

All images of patients are used with their permission.

SUPPORT
We began today receiving patients at the respiratory care unit.
Emergency Medicine Your gift will enable Samaritan’s Purse to provide life-saving medical care (including doctors, nurses, respirators, and other essential equipment) in places where vulnerable communities are suffering in the wake of disaster or from outbreaks of infectious diseases like COVID-19. We also offer public health outreaches to prevent the spread of life-threatening illnesses. Most importantly, we are able to bring the Gospel message of eternal hope to those who are suffering and afraid.

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