Unvaccinated 18-year-old in ICU battling COVID in Texas

HOUSTON -- An 18-year-old was supposed to be starting his senior year of high school, but instead he is in the ICU battling COVID-19 at Texas Children's Hospital.

Brenda Vazquez said her son, Felix, was experiencing mild COVID symptoms before it quickly escalated. She brought him to the hospital on Aug. 9 after he was having trouble breathing.

"I have cried so much, I can't even cry anymore," Vazquez said.

Vazquez works in the dental field and believes she contracted COVID-19 at work, and then passed it onto her son.

According to Vazquez, doctors are using a last resort treatment known as ECMO.

"They put a tube down his neck, connected to his lungs, so it could circulate the oxygen better," Vazquez said.

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She also said her son is overweight, putting him at higher risk of the virus.

Felix is not vaccinated, a decision they made together.

"I didn't feel comfortable because you hear the good and the bad, and it's not approved," Vazquez said.

If she could go back in time, Vazquez said would have done things differently.

"Seeing him like this, I think what if he got vaccinated?" she said.

According to the Harris County Public Health's database, which was last updated on Aug. 2, children and young adults ages 10-19 make up 15.2% of COVID-19 cases in the region.

A spokesperson for Texas Children's Hospital said there are 30 pediatric patients in their hospital under 18 years of age.

"I don't wish this on any mom," Vazquez said.

With a bright future ahead of Felix, his mother said they are going to take things day by day.

"That's the only thing I have left," Vazquez said. "Just prayers. I woke up at four this morning just crying.

The family asks anyone who wishes to donate to visit the Facebook page they set up.

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