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Austin mom's family story defines her fight against COVID-19

Gloria Vera-Bedolla tested positive for the coronavirus on Monday.

AUSTIN, Texas — Gloria Vera-Bedolla is a mother of three. She works for the Central Texas Allied Health Institute. She has congestive heart failure and is fully vaccinated against the coronavirus.

She's also one of the many Texans who tested positive for COVID-19. 

Vera-Bedolla was tested on Monday, and her experiences are shaping the way she’s fighting the virus. Vera-Bedolla’s son and daughter-in-law contracted the coronavirus last summer. After struggling to even find a COVID-19 test, she said her family resorted to home remedies during the “really awful situation.”

She said she hasn’t told her son she tested positive.

“I don’t want them to come and try to help me,” Vera-Bedolla said. “I want them to stay safe.”

The Austin mother said she lost three family members this month. In the last two weeks, both her cousin and cousin’s husband died of COVID-19 complications.

Because she is diagnosed with congestive heart failure, Vera-Bedolla said she always thought if she contracted the coronavirus she was “probably not going to make it.”

“I’m kind of relieved, because now I have no choice but to confront it, and I have to systematically work to get better,” she said.

Her symptoms include a sore throat, fever, jaw aches and trouble breathing.

“It’s really surprising to me that I got sick like this,” Vera-Bedolla said. “You don’t want to sit there trying to breathe when you’re just sitting there doing nothing. That’s what I went through last night.”

Throughout the last year-and-a-half, Vera-Bedolla said she’s been working in COVID-19 response work, volunteering at testing sites and vaccine clinics. She said, at first, there was a large disparity between testing sites in West and East Austin.

She encourages everyone to get vaccinated, unless it's against their beliefs, and to wear a mask.

“We do know that a piece of cloth, might save your life or somebody else’s life,” Vera-Bedolla said. “Think about the people that have an immune system that doesn’t defend them the way that yours might.”

She said once she recovers, she’ll work even harder to educate her community on how easy it is to wear a mask and get vaccinated. 

“I will work that much harder to make my community aware of what is available, the resources that are available to them, so that they too can make it out of this alive," Vera-Bedolla said.


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