MIAMI (WSVN) - A South Florida healthcare worker who survived COVID-19 has been left with lifelong impacts, and due to complications related to the virus, she will most likely lose both of her hands, her family said.
Rosa Felipe continues to recover at Jackson Memorial Hospital, where she worked as an electroencephalograph technician.
“Well, what you see is what you get,” said her sister, Elizabeth Taveras Murray. “She’s very outspoken. She’s loving, she’s caring. There’s nothing she wouldn’t do for you.”
Felipe contracted the coronavirus in early March, and her family believes it happened while working at the hospital.
The patient, who had COVID-19 and the flu at the same time, is now dealing with several complications from the virus.
“Being on ECMO for such a long time, the pressurization of the machine does not guarantee that your limbs will be OK,” said Taveras Murray.
Taveras Murray said her sister will more than likely have both of her hands amputated.
“The machine takes care of your heart and your lungs, and unfortunately, your limbs can succumb to necrosis because they’re not getting circulation,” she said.
This will be especially difficult for Felipe, a 20-year veteran at Jackson. Her duties included performing brain scans and heart scans on patients.
“I am 100% sure that this will affect her both physically and emotionally,” said Taveras Murray.
There have been difficulties for front-line workers during the pandemic. Several in South Florida have died from COVID-19 complications, like Jackson Memorial Hospital nurse Araceli Buendia-Ilagan and Dr. Alex Hsu, who practiced internal medicine at Northwest Medical Center in Margate.
Two others, Dr. Luis Caldero Nieves and Devin Francis, were members of the Jackson Healthcare System community.
Felipe’s family said her recovery has been tough on their family, especially her two children.
Loved ones said they want her home soon.
“We’re just ecstatic and happy that she’s alive, and she’s with us, so we’ll take her any which way she comes,” said Taveras Murray.
They want others to learn from Felipe’s story that this virus is very real. They know her life will change significantly.
“Just do your part for yourself and for your family and for your friends and for people who you don’t know,” said Taveras Murray. “Just do your part. It’s not that difficult.”
It remains unclear how much longer Felipe will have to stay at the hospital.
Anyone with questions and concerns about the coronavirus can call the Florida Department of Health’s 24-hour hotline at 1-866-779-6121.
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