IE woman who survived COVID fears possibility of reinfection

A Victorville woman nearly lost her life after contracting COVID-19. Nearly one year after spending 29 days between two hospitals, she says she's struggled with anxiety, terrified of getting the virus for a second time.

Video Transcript

- So much has changed for us over the last year. When the COVID-19 pandemic was first declared, we started going into lockdown. And it's been a long recovery for many people who came down with the virus. Eyewitness News reporter Josh Haskell talked to a woman who spent nearly a month in the hospital at this time last year.

JOSH HASKELL: Lauren Acosta is back where she belongs, at home with her family, smiling again, celebrating holidays like July 4th and Halloween nearly one year after spending 29 days between two hospitals because of COVID-19.

LAUREN ACOSTA: I feel, like, 100% back to normal now. Like, I feel like my old self again, kind of like my new self too. I definitely have a different outlook on life. I definitely want to live my life to the fullest and not let anything hold me back.

JOSH HASKELL: Last April, the 28-year-old from Victorville was airlifted from St. Mary's hospital in Apple Valley to Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, where she received a life-saving plasma treatment. Acosta's mother, Lisa Loya was unable to be with her daughter. But faith and the remarkable work by a team of doctors helped Lauren Acosta survive.

LISA LOYA: Everything else doesn't mean anything unless you have your family complete. My daughter is everything to me. All my kids are. And to come so close to losing one of them just really-- I could still feel that same pain today. It's almost a year later.

JOSH HASKELL: Acosta has kept busy selling clothes on under the name Lauren Ashley Boutique, pursuing her passion of social media marketing.

LAUREN ACOSTA: I definitely think it's brought me a lot more like confidence, and also something to look forward to right now since I'm not doing too much outside the house.

JOSH HASKELL: Acosta says she's excited about getting the COVID-19 vaccine because she's been struggling with anxiety, terrified of getting the virus for a second time.

LAUREN ACOSTA: Even if I do survive again, I just-- I don't want to chance that. I'd just rather not deal with being around other people right now because it does give me such bad anxiety. And I definitely want to get counseling.

LISA LOYA: What we went through was very traumatic. And I don't want to go through that again. I don't. So I'm very protective of my family. And I'm very cautious of what I do.

JOSH HASKELL: Acosta and her mom say what their family went through and how the community responded has made them forever grateful, strangers coming together offering love and support.