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Family grieves death of beloved Imperial Beach grandmother to COVID-19

Posted at 3:23 PM, Dec 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-11 21:05:39-05

IMPERIAL BEACH, Calif. (KGTV) - Loved ones are mourning the COVID-19 death of a beloved Imperial Beach grandmother.

"I have no words. So hard," said a tearful Angelica Madrigal, the daughter of Juana Barajas.

Barajas, 61, first became sick last week. By the next day, a fever had arrived.

"Chest congested and shortness of breath," said Madrigal. "She called me and said, 'I can’t breathe well.'"

An ambulance rushed Barajas to the hospital. She tested positive for COVID-19 and that night, she was placed on a ventilator.

Barajas, who lived with diabetes and a heart condition, suffered four heart attacks in the ICU. On Saturday, just five days after she first became ill, Barajas, a mother of three and grandmother of three, passed away.

"I couldn’t touch her. I couldn’t say goodbye. Had to see her through a window," said Madrigal.

Madrigal says her mother was hard-working, humble, and loved to joke around.

"Since I was kids, she always had two or three jobs," said Madrigal. "She was my best friend. She was everything to me."

Madrigal isn’t sure how her mom contracted the virus, but says her health issues meant she did have many doctor's appointments.

Madrigal says her mother otherwise stuck close to home and wore a mask.

In the days after her mother's death, she and several other members of her family have come down with symptoms, including a fever and a cough. They spent Friday morning waiting in line to receive a COVID-19 test.

"This is serious, this is not a joke. People need to take this seriously. If it happened to me, it can happen to you," said Madrigal.

A GoFundMe campaign has been set up to help the family with expenses.