LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Faith Rivera Reyes doesn’t want to sound like a broken record, but at this point, she’s glad to be communicating at all. The Tates Creek High School student had a recent bout with coronavirus, which she won. Barely.
“I really did think at times that I was going to die in the hospital,” she said from home, one day after being released from UK Hospital. “There were points when I physically couldn’t breathe."
Faith was never placed on a ventilator, but was given a high flow-oxygen mask. Her mother, Nancy Rivera Reyes, who isolated herself in the hospital room with Faith, relied on the nurses and other healthcare professionals to get them through a very scary time.
“One of her nurses just started to cry with me, because we didn’t know what to do in that moment. She was not breathing anymore. She had oxygen, but her body wasn’t taking it anymore,” said Nancy Reyes, describing those harrowing moments when the prognosis for her daughter appeared bleak.
Faith is obviously is one of the luckier ones. She was able to recover and was sent home on Sunday. She waited less than 24 hours to start spreading an important message to her friends and classmates at Tates Creek High School.
“My whole generation is like; we’re young, we’re healthy, we can’t get this," Faith said. That’s how I thought when I got it too."
Faith stressed that she had no pre-existing conditions, but she still got coronavirus and nearly died. She’s hoping her friends remain vigilant about social distancing, so they can avoid a similar fate.
Faith’s father also tested positive for the virus, and Nancy displayed all of the symptoms commonly associated with COVID-19 but was not tested. Doctors are presuming she had it, and the family will remain isolated now for at least two weeks. Then they will see about their eligibility to donate plasma. Recently the FDA approved an experimental trial, which extracts plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients, anduses their antibodies on those still battling the symptoms.
“Absolutely,” Nancy said of her desire to see if their family members will be eligible to help others with a plasma donation.
Faith is already doing her part. A living, breathing (and talking) example that even healthy “kids” can get this too.