A local family shares a near death experience battling COVID-19

One family opened up about how COVID-19 almost claimed the life of their loved one

PORT LAVACA, Texas—Over the past seven months here in the Crossroads more than 4,000 people tested positive for COVID-19. Now, a local family speaks about the devastation it caused their family.

A near-death experience occurred when Georgina Mendoza and her husband Jose Mendoza known amongst friends as “Cookie”, tested positive for COVID-19. They were both in the hospital at the same time. Jose Mendoza was admitted to ICU because he’s diabetic so the doctors were interested in keeping a close eye on him due to his underlying health concerns.

During that time he was informed that the doctors were placing Georgina in a medically induced coma. The doctors made the decision to move her to a bigger hospital for her medical care. Then she was life-flighted to St. David’s North Austin Medical Hospital.

“It was hard because, of course, I got out. I had to continue quarantining and we have a total of four kids, two are out of the house and two are in school; a junior and a second grader, so it made it really hard. We had to really, really depend on family and friends to help me in that situation,” said Jose Mendoza.

After the husband’s 14-day quarantine he still kept testing positive for COVID-19 so it made it even harder on him and his family. Georgina was still in a coma and no visitors were allowed. Jose Mendoza says there were several times he thought his wife wasn’t going to make it.

“There were quite a few times that I would get that phone call from the hospital. You know they would explain to you that things were not looking good and she was having major complications. There was one phone call in particular that I got and he told me to prepare myself that at any moment that she was going to pass away and they wanted me to be on the phone. That’s the closest I would be able to be to her and of course, I kind of lost it a little bit. You know I put the phone down and I went outside. I dropped to my knees in the middle of the yard and prayed as best as I could out loud. It seems like from that day forward, little by little with baby steps things started getting better and better but it was that one phone call that she was going to pass away,” said Mr. Mendoza.

The doctors explained to Jose why Georgina’s COVID-19 was so aggressive.

“As far as the severity of how my wife caught it, she was one of the first stories to catch it to that degree. You know she caught what they call the COVID- pneumonia and it really really damaged her kidneys more than anything. It actually shut her kidneys down. It bruised her lungs but as far as her kidneys it shut them down to where she was required to have dialysis to kick start her kidneys going again,” said Jose Mendoza.

The severity of Georgina’s COVID-19 infection affected their family and friends in so many ways. The Mendozas have been together for 25 years and married for 23 years. Jose was a freshman and Georgina was a senior in high school when they began dating. He couldn’t imagine doing life without her.

“So many things run through your mind on how do I move forward from this and not to be there in her last moments. The effects of it are very, very crazy. You just don’t know how to react to it. The family and friends that came around are such a blessing. They kept me going, being as strong as I could for the girls,” said Jose Mendoza.

After almost three months Georgina came out of her coma but this was only the beginning of her recovery process.

“She has a very long way to go to still be able to get up and walk. She’s very limited to what she can do. We’re going to rely on home healthcare to come to help us for these next few months. She’s not fully recovered to where she was but she’s good enough to be home and I’ll take that, I’ll take that blessing for now and the blessings will continue for the next few months and she will be back to her feet one day. I have that faith in me, both of us have that faith that she will get to that point,” said Jose Mendoza.

Mr. Mendoza says Georgina is limited to the things that she can do. He explains what she will work on during her recovery.

“She was in bed from June until this present day, she was still in bed. So she’s very weak on what she can do. She’s got some movement in her right arm, she’s got very little movement in her left arm and in her legs. So she can’t quite pick her body up and roll over in bed. So that’s where we as a family come in to assist her and help her with her physical therapy. She had the ventilator through her throat for such a long period that at that point after so long they had to remove the ventilator from her mouth and go in through what they call her trachea in her neck. They finally removed it and she finally learned how to eat again,” said Jose Mendoza.

Georgina is fighting to make a full recovery and she wants to warn the community that COVID-19 is affecting people’s lives.

“Take it seriously and wear your mask, wash your hands. Stay away from big crowds. I woke up and I didn’t even know where I was at. I thought I was in Victoria and you know they started telling me my story. I thought I was barely waking up from when I fell asleep, and I was in a coma for about two months,” said Georgina Mendoza, a Crossroads resident who’s recovering from COVID-19.

“She survived it and we’re blessed. Prayers, I can’t thank the prayers enough. To me it was the prayers and the good staff at that hospital and her fighting of course,” said Jose Mendoza.

On Saturday, October 3, 2020, the Mendoza’s will have a benefit at Beau Bowling Alley in Port Lavaca from 11 a.m. until all the plates are sold. They will be selling brisket BBQ plates with trimmings for $8 and baked goods will also be available. The money will help pay for Georgina’s medical expenses or you can donate directly to Jose Mendonza’s cash app at $Chochee78.