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South Bay family mourns death of popular airport worker to COVID-19

Posted at 4:58 PM, Sep 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-02 22:19:12-04

IMPERIAL BEACH, Calif. (KGTV) - A South Bay family is mourning the death of a popular airport worker to COVID-19.

Ana Carina's first symptoms were a sore throat and a cough. Days later, in late July, she couldn't catch her breath.

"She says she felt she like had asthma. That's when we got concerned," said daughter Karen Miraflores.

She says family members brought her mother to an ER, where she was quickly admitted, testing positive for COVID-19. A week later, she was placed in a ventilator.

"I got scared, became uncomfortable and uneasy," said her daughter.

After a month on the ventilator, Carina actually tested negative for COVID-19, but her lungs were too badly damaged. This past Sunday, Carina, a mother of three adult children, passed away at the age of 56.

"We were all wishing this was just a dream. She was the sweetest. She would call us randomly just to tell her she loved us," said Karen.

"I just miss her so much. She was so nice and selfless," said Carina's son Luis Miraflores, choking back tears.

For nearly a decade, Carina worked at the airport in customer service for an airline, well-liked by co-workers and passengers.

"Her legacy lives on in the people that she touched," said Karen.

Her family can't figure out how she contracted coronavirus. Her hours at work had been greatly reduced. She lived with her children, and they all kept close to their Imperial Beach home. When she did go out, she carried a bag of safety supplies.

"A Ziploc bag that had santizies, gloves, extra masks," said Karen.

In the end, Carina would contract a virus that killed her, despite having no pre-existing conditions.

"My message is that this is real," said Luis.

Luis says he is frustrated when he sees people not wearing masks and not social distancing.

"Please wear masks. Do everything you can ... This virus is evil. It destroys your body and your family. Everything," said Luis.

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