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High desert mother believes daughter contracted coronavirus while in hospital

Aja C

Aja Marie Collins has now been in the intensive care unit for 4 weeks, in critical condition, at Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs while fighting coronavirus.

This, while her 9-year-old son Brandon and Collin's mother Kathy Cole wait, hope, and pray at the home they share in 29 Palms.

"I don't want to cry. It's so hard. We've had a couple of times where she's been near death," said Cole.

Cole says Aja's ordeal began back in early June, when she was admitted to Hi-Desert Medical Center in Joshua Tree after complaining of severe stomach pain.

After testing negative for coronavirus at the hospital, she had a cyst removed, but experienced complications.

Cole says Aja's "bowel was nicked" during surgery and she needed more surgery.

Cole says her daughter was transported to Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs on June 23rd for a higher level of care.

She says it was days later on July 2nd when Aja tested positive for coronavirus.

Cole says when she spoke with her daughter July 2nd, after she tested positive, Aja was "fearing for her life".

"I just can't wrap my head around why she is going through all this. Why her? I just don't understand," said Cole.

Aja was put on a ventilator July 3rd and this past Friday received a tracheotomy.

Believing her daughter contracted coronavirus at one of the hospitals where she was treated, Cole is warning everyone to take the virus seriously.

"The Covid is no joke, they can catch it anywhere," said Cole.

Cole says doctors have not provided a prognosis for her daughter.

"My baby is strong. I'm hoping she'll pull through," said Cole.

Tenet Health, which operates both hospitals, provided this written statement to News Channel 3:

“While we are unable to provide any information about a specific patient or case due to patient privacy laws, we are committed to providing every patient with excellent care. The safety of our patients and staff is our most important priority at Desert Care Network Hospitals. Our practices related to the safety of our patients and staff during the COVID-19 pandemic are consistent with guidelines and protocols issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the California Department of Public Health.”

Deana Licudo, a friend of Aja's has set up a GoFundMe account to help support Aja Collins and Kathy Cole.

Cole says Aja recently completed classes to serve as a medical assistant.

GoFundMe Link:

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Tom Tucker

Tom Tucker is a veteran broadcast journalist with nearly 20 years of experience. Learn more about Tom here.


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