Living in a Pandemic: Valley family hopeful for recovery after son's near-death experience with COVID-19

By: Marisol Villarreal

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Valley mother Maria del Socorro Cruz is hopeful that her 32-year-old son Efren can get back to being the same energetic man he was about a year ago.

“He was working at a Harlingen hospital and that's when he started to feel sick,” Cruz said. “That he had the flu and that sort of thing."

When Efren went to the hospital, they told him he had flu symptoms and brought him back. It wasn’t until the third attempt in late March that the doctors got the diagnosis correct.

“He had it and he was very sick,” Cruz said.


Efren tested positive for the coronavirus and it spread to his immediate family, including Cruz. She and Efren both had to be intubated. Doctors didn't believe she was going to make it.

“They told me that they might have needed to pull the plug on me," Cruz said.

Doctors cleared Efren to go home months after his diagnosis. Doctors pronounced him dead twice, each time taking a little more of him away. But the inner strength Cruz knew him to have has kept him fighting these last five months.

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“He's reacting a lot, even though they told me he wasn't going to be able to, he's reacting a lot,” Cruz said.

There is a long road of rehabilitation ahead for Efren; one that his family will help him push through until he can get back to being himself.


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