Praying “for a miracle”

Before contracting COVID, 59-year-old Gloria Vasquez of Natalia, was a healthy individual with no pre-existing conditions.
“Now my mom needs a miracle,” said daughter Reyna Vasquez.
A life-saving treatment, called ECMO, can help some covid patients when even a ventilator isn’t enough. However, Covid cases are surging, and resources like ECMO machines are very limited. That is the heartbreaking reality that the Vasquez family is facing right now.
Gloria Vasquez has been on a ventilator for weeks, and her family prays that mama can be transferred a hospital that offers ECMO treatment, but there are very few beds with EMCO in the entire San Antonio area.
“Mom’s doctor has said it is the only thing that would help her,” said daughter Reyna Vasquez. “My mom is only 59, and she has no pre-existing conditions. They can only take the healthiest patients for the limited number of beds they have. They have denied my mom twice. She has done so much for others. She has spent most of her life working for non-profit organizations. She has always done for others and her community. She cares so much about people.”
“Methodist is the only hospital in the San Antonio area with an ECMO program, and they only have around 13 ECMO beds there (and even fewer machines). Other major hospitals only have maybe 1 or 2 ECMO beds,” Vasquez explained.
In fact, Methodist Heart Institute in San Antonio is the primary ECMO provider for one of the largest regions in Texas, operating the only program that reaches as far west as El Paso and as far south as McAllen.
“EMCO is still an experimental treatment for Covid, but her doctor says it is the only thing that could help her,” Vasquez said.
Family stated:
“Gloria started experiencing symptoms (light cough, congestion in chest, low-grade fever, and headache) on Saturday, December 5. On Tuesday, December 8, she received positive test results for COVID-19. By Saturday, December 12, she began struggling to breathe and was taken by ambulance to Southwest General Hospital in San Antonio where she was admitted and diagnosed with COVID pneumonia.
“She has now been in the ICU for over 30 days where she is in very critical condition and on a ventilator. Doctors have tried various treatments including convalescent plasma, Remdesiver, and Ivermectin. She is now requiring Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO), an extracorporeal technique of providing prolonged cardiac and respiratory support to persons whose heart and lungs are unable to provide an adequate amount of gas exchange or perfusion to sustain life, a treatment that is in extremely high demand with the increase of hospitalized COVID patients.”
Gloria is a graduate of Natalia High School and returned to settle in Natalia after college. She is married to Raul Vasquez, Jr. of Natalia and is the mother of Reyna Vasquez. She is the true definition of a public servant. She is deeply involved in her community, and has served as Mayor of the City of Natalia and Natalia ISD School Board President. She has always believed in helping others.
“Our family pleads for your prayers. Gloria needs a miracle! Please wear a mask, wash your hands, and think of others,” the Vasquez family adds.
A friend of theirs, Cynthia Sullivan of Natalia, is a former ICU nurse said her family was very lucky that her husband Brian was able to get that ECMO treatment that is so limited.
“I don’t know if Brian would be with us today if he hadn’t been able to get ECMO. We are very lucky he was able to get it,” Sullivan said. “He is home now and making progress, but he still has to have an oxygen tank with him everywhere he goes. Those little oxygen tanks only last about an hour and a half. Finally we’ve gotten a bigger portable one. Yesterday was the first time he has been able to sit up in the recliner without oxygen for a few minutes, so we were excited about that. Covid really hit him hard, and he didn’t have any other conditions other than being overweight. So please don’t let this happen to your family before you start taking it seriously.”