SOUTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - An 11-year-old girl who spent nearly a week at a South Florida hospital after testing positive for COVID-19 is finally heading home.
7News cameras captured Sophia Villarraga moments after she was given the OK to leave Nicklaus Children’s Hospital in Southwest Miami-Dade, Saturday night.
The young patient, who was admitted to the hospital on Monday, expressed relief.
“I feel good,” she said.
Her mother, Pilar Villarraga, spoke to 7News about her daughter’s hospital stay earlier this weekend.
“It’s been very – it’s been a long wait,” she said.
The concerned parent confirmed it was an uphill climb at first.
“Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday were the worst days of my life,” she said.
Pilar said her daughter, an active and healthy 11-year-old, caught the virus last week, about a week shy of her 12th birthday.
At first, Pilar said, Sophia’s symptoms were mild, but inflammation from a consistent cough got worse, and she was taken to the emergency room.
“From the ER, everything got worse. She started coughing. Like, from Monday morning to Monday night, she was coughing. She started couging blood, she got pneumonia,” she said, “and then all of her blood tests came back really crazy, so they said she needed to start treatment right away.”
That visit to the ER turned into six consecutive days in a hospital bed.
Pilar says she and her husband did everything right. They both got the vaccine and took all the necessary steps to keep their family safe, including wearing masks.
The parents had also made plans for Sophia’s shot.
“Well, we were waiting for her to get the vaccine, because he’s 11, she’s turning 12 next week,” said Pilar, “so, I think that with the vaccine, she wouldn’t be this bad, you know?”
Hopefully, Pilar said, those days are now behind them.
“Her blood tests were OK now, so she just needs to recover, little by little, and stay home until everything goes back to normal,” she said.
Pilar hopes that by sharing her child’s story, it will be a lesson for other parents whose children may test positive.
“Be very on top of anything that you see different, if you get tested positive, because this virus is very complex,” she said.
As for Sophia, she said she’s thankful to be healthy. She also had a message to the public about her experience.
“Get vaccinated, because this was a very scary experience. I don’t want other people to get sick,” she said.
Sophia is not in the clear just yet. She needs to rest and continue taking her medication.
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