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Cameron County deputy recovering from COVID-19 struggles financially

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A Cameron County deputy constable was welcomed back home on Tuesday following a months-long battle in the hospital with COVID-19.

Still, Deputy Constable Antonio Huizar Jr.’s return home doesn’t mark the end after a long ordeal that started with feeling symptoms on the job.

"He ended up going to the hospital because he was having difficulty breathing,” said Cameron County Precinct 4 Constable Merced Burnias. “And he ended up staying there for two and a half months."

READ ALSO: 'Impossible to get vaccinated': Homebound, elderly residents in Valley struggle to get COVID-19 vaccine  

Huizar’s sister, Marisela Barrientos, a Brownsville police officer, says her brother was worried about the bills.

Barrientos helped him out and got him to a doctor, and then into an emergency room after he deteriorated back home. Huizar then returned to the hospital and spent 20 days on life support.

He came out of life support, only to emerge with a sepsis infection, which sent him to San Antonio for higher care.

"I would talk to him every time that I could,” Barrientos said. “I would talk to him even though he was sedated. I would tell him, 'Brother, you fight for your life.'"

READ ALSO: Cameron County reports 4 more COVID-19 related deaths, 191 new cases  

Finally, on Tuesday, Huizar returned back home following 10-plus weeks of illness to a family of police and first responders.

Without health insurance, physical therapy will be a problem.

"At this point, he's been released," Barrientos said. "He is in need of a lot of rehab. He is not walking. He is still very weak. He lost all his muscle. He's been in bed basically for two months."

First responder groups are gathering what they can to help Huizar move forward.

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