Victorville woman recovering from COVID-19 after viewer tip led her to UCLA plasma trial

A tip from an ABC7 viewer helped refer a COVID-19 patient to a clinical plasma trial at UCLA. Now she's off the ventilator and going home to Victorville.
APPLE VALLEY, Calif. (KABC) -- Lauren Acosta, 27, is wheeled out of St. Mary's Hospital in Apple Valley after spending 29 days between two hospitals. Acosta has finally tested negative for COVID-19 and is back home with her family in Victorville.

"I don't remember anything until I got to UCLA. I just woke up in the hospital, they started telling me a little bit of my condition. It was a little hard at first 'cause I had to realize that I couldn't do a lot of the things I was used to doing before I got sick. My memory wasn't the same," said Acosta.

Acosta, a cancer survivor who suffers from asthma, was on a ventilator for three weeks. In mid-April, her doctors and family were desperate for convalescent plasma from a recovered COVID-19 patient or the drug Remdesivir, but had no luck.

"We were racing against the clock. We didn't know how much longer we would have with her, that she would be able to fight," said Lisa Loya, Lauren's mom.

That's when Lauren's mom reached out to ABC7 and a viewer saw our story and told us about a UCLA clinical trial using plasma. Two days later, Acosta was airlifted to UCLA Ronald Reagan Medical Center and received a plasma transfusion the next day.

"I'm super glad that I was able to get the plasma and get a higher level care at UCLA. I can breathe a lot better. There's no pain when I breathe. Just trying to stay healthy and live a healthier lifestyle," said Acosta.

Acosta will need to undergo a month of physical therapy at home and then she's hopeful she can start looking for a job. Acosta says she wouldn't have survived without strangers reaching out to help.

"It really restored my faith in humanity and gave me a more positive outlook on life and I was really touched by everyone's prayers. Stay strong and don't give up hope."

Acosta's doctors say they don't know for certain if the plasma can be solely credited with her quick recovery, but her family has no doubt it helped her get off the ventilator and back home.
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