SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - A nursing assistant at a Rancho Bernardo senior care facility is battling for her life, diagnosed with COVID-19.
In terms of coronavirus, Villa Rancho Bernardo care center is among the hardest-hit senior care facilities in the county.
In early May, Lani says her sister, Irene Branch, a longtime nursing assistant there, told her about all the sick calls, and repeated her insistence to keep working.
"She always has a big heart. If they are short, she always go to work," said Lani.
Around the same time, Branch started to feel sick.
"Coughing a little bit, no appetite and a short fever," said Lani.
Her symptoms quickly got worse and a few days later, Lani got a frightening call from her sister.
"She had shortness of breath, so I told her to call 911," said Lani.
She did, and a day later in the ICU, Branch was on a ventilator.
She received donated plasma containing COVID-19 antibodies, but her condition has deteriorated. Kidney failure has led to ongoing dialysis.
"I pray. Our family is praying a lot. Every one is praying for her," said Lani.
Lani says doctors recently removed her from a medically induced coma, but she remains comatose.
"She can't wake up. That's the problem. She's not waking up ... It's hard. I can't accept it right now," said Lani.
Unable to visit her sister because of COVID-19 restrictions, Lani recently talked to Branch via Facetime while a hospital worker held up a phone.
"Telling her we are here to support her. Letting her know we are not abandoning her ... I am very hopeful. I will not give up," said Lani.
According to the latest state numbers, 45 residents and 30 staff members at Villa Rancho Bernardo have tested positive for COVID-19.
A Gofundme campaign has been set up to help with medical expenses.