A San Diego State University student whose battle with coronavirus included his entire household shared his story with NBC 7 with hopes he can help keep others safe and out of the ICU like his father.
Noe Sandoval, 19, said everyone in his home tested positive for COVID-19, but it attacked everyone differently. His father’s case was the most severe.
Sandoval’s parents, Jose and Ana Sandoval, emigrated from El Salvador 30 years ago and have been working hard to support their family of five ever since.
“They’ve always worked hard. I’m just so grateful for what they’ve done to raise us. There’s three of us, you know?” said Sandoval. "We’re a pretty low-income family and my parents still have to work during this time.”
Sandoval’s parents are essential workers; his mother is a housekeeper and his father works at a food packing facility. Sandoval said his dad had just been promoted and was working overtime when one day, he started feeling sick.
“He (Jose) said that it couldn’t be the virus, probably just a cold, but we were all worried. He was coughing, he had headache, body aches," Sandoval described.
Sandoval's father's symptoms were progressing, and a few days later he couldn’t breathe. He was rushed to the hospital where he was finally diagnosed with COVID-19. Sandoval's father has now been in the ICU for 12 days.
That same week, Sandoval's brother and mother also tested positive for the virus. Sandoval's 21-year-old brother was asymptomatic, but Sandoval and his mother suffered fevers, body aches and fatigue. The family cannot return to work until they test negative for the virus.
Sandoval said his sister, who doesn't live in the same home as the rest of the family, is the only one who didn't become infected. She's working two jobs while the family waits to return to work.
"I know we're receiving a lot of help from people, but those resources can run out,” Sandoval said. For now, he said he's trying to focus on his father's health and hopes business owners work to create safe environments for their employees.
“Perhaps not every company is following these precautions. I know he’s fighting. We just want him to get back home,” said Sandoval about his father.
His father is still in the ICU and is fighting to recover. A family-friend created a GoFundMe page to help the family during this difficult time.