PHOENIX — As we head into 2021, one Phoenix family ravaged by COVID-19 is praying for a better year ahead.
"These weren’t the holidays we expected at all," says Jaz Burboa. "My father-in-law and my husband have been in the hospital for about three weeks now."
Around Thanksgiving, Jaz says she and several of her other family members tested positive for COVID-19. In all, she says 16 of them caught the virus.
"This wasn’t a party, this wasn’t a family gathering," she explains. "It was just us seeing grandparents, grandparents seeing other aunties and uncles, them seeing other people. And it got all of us sick."
She had no symptoms, but not everyone is as lucky. Her father-in-law isn't on a ventilator yet but is still admitted to the hospital. And she doesn't know if her husband Elias will make it home.
"My husband has been in a coma since Christmas. He got connected to a ventilator that wasn’t enough due to the damage in his lungs."
Elias is in a coma at Banner University Medical Center, hooked up to an ECMO machine, while Jaz is at home with their 9-month-old Julia, five months pregnant with another on the way.
"We were making plans, you know?" says Jaz. "My biggest fear was the day I left him at the hospital was the last day I’d ever see him again."
She has reason to be scared. Back in July, her husband’s brother passed from COVID after he was put in a coma.
"You can’t rely on [being] young and healthy," Jaz says.
Elias is 33 and his brother Daniel was 35.
"One didn’t make it out and the other is fighting with everything he has."
Jaz steeling herself, too
"I am composed and strong because I promised my husband I would take care of things."
Bracing for the thought of losing a big part of her growing family.
"She deserves at least one parent to be whole," she says of Julia. "So, she keeps me hopeful."
If you want to help Jaz's family during this difficult time, you can visit their GoFundMe page.
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