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Mother fights coronavirus while her sister treats her at Loma Linda ICU

Two sisters are deep in the battle against coronavirus: one of them is an ICU nurse at Loma Linda Medical Center. The other is intubated there, desperately fighting for her life.

Janet Santibanez, 31, was admitted to the intensive care unit last week after experiencing severe symptoms, like trouble breathing.

"Her numbers don't look good; her x-rays look really bad," said Veronica Santibanez, her sister. "They're getting worse and worse."

She has to monitor her sister's condition from home. But she said their other sister, Maribel, has been by Janet's side every step of the way. "Giving her hope, letting her know not to give up, holding her hand when she needs's very comforting."

Tuesday, Veronica got the call that her sister needed to be put under and intubated. Over video chat, she offered words of hope before Janet would be sedated.

"Keep fighting. You got this."

Santibanez has been put on an experimental medication called Remdesivir. And she's been added to the lengthy waiting list for convalescent plasma, which comes from recovered coronavirus patients. It's in extremely short supply.

Santibanez's family are pleading for all those recovered to donate. To find out more on how to help, click here.

Veronica said she knows Janet's daughter, Harlow, is the main reason she's fighting to survive.

"She has a 9-year-old, so she's fighting for her little girl to stay alive – for her little girl to see her again," she said.

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Jake Ingrassia

Joining News Channel 3 and CBS Local 2 as a reporter, Jake is excited to be launching his broadcasting career here in the desert. Learn more about Jake here.


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