ARIZONA NEWS

Phoenix father’s battle with COVID-19 continues months after he got infected

Apr 23, 2021, 4:55 AM | Updated: 7:42 am

Elias Burboa (Courtesy photo/Jazmin Burboa)...

Elias Burboa (Courtesy photo/Jazmin Burboa)

(Courtesy photo/Jazmin Burboa)

PHOENIX — A 33-year-old Phoenix father got COVID-19 back in December, and his wife remains hopeful he’ll come home so they can raise their two little girls together.

“Back in July, we lost his brother to COVID,” Jazmin Burboa told KTAR News 92.3 FM. “So we were very aware of the risks, and we took all precautions.”

She believed they were protected. But then their 9-month-old daughter, Julia, got COVID-19. Eventually, 14 family members had it, including Jazmin’s husband, Elias.

“He started losing saturation of oxygen. He couldn’t breathe,” she said. “With all the fear in my heart, I had to take him to the hospital or he would’ve passed at home.”

On Christmas Day, the young and otherwise healthy father of two was intubated and put in a medically induced coma.

Days before his dad passed away from COVID-19, Elias was put on ECMO, which stands for extracorporeal membrane oxygenation. It’s a treatment that works as an artificial lung to let a patient’s lungs heal.

“He was on it for 62 days,” Jazmin said. “It was successful. There were some scares, but he made it through.”

When doctors tried to ease him off ECMO and wake him up, he started having seizures and developed brain swelling.

“On my daughter’s birthday, March 8, they told me the swelling was really bad, that they didn’t think that he’ll wake up,” she said. “They offered to start end-of-life care.”

Jazmin hoped ECMO would work and that he wouldn’t miss the birth of their second daughter.

“I believed back in December when I dropped him off at the hospital that he would make it out and be there with me the day of the birth,” she said.

Daniela was born last week. Even though Elias couldn’t be there, Jazmin said she felt “he was everywhere.”

The 33-year-old father is now at a long-term care facility as doctors wait to see if he regains consciousness.

“At this point, it’s just a waiting game,” Jazmin said. “I’m waiting for my miracle. We need to raise our babies together. That was the plan.”

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help Jazmin and her family with medical expenses.

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Phoenix father’s battle with COVID-19 continues months after he got infected