CALDWELL, Idaho — Marisela Pesina and her 30-year-old son Miguel Pesina live in Caldwell, Idaho. The two and the rest of their family have been extremely cautious throughout the pandemic, following all guidelines from the Center for Disease Control (CDC).
Because of the family's caution, Marisela Pesina was concerned when her son began feeling ill.
“Miguel started feeling a little bit sick,” Marisela Pesina said. “His breathing was starting to get a bit more labored.”
When he developed symptoms consistent with COVID-19, the concern grew.
“We have been pretty good about following the rules, staying home, being sequestered,” Miguel Pesina said. “So, when we got sick, we were like what did we do wrong?”
Miguel Pesina's symptoms worsened, so Marisela Pesina took him to St. Luke's in Nampa. However, she was not allowed to go in with him.
“I dropped him off," she said. "It seemed so weird to me because I'm used to going in with anyone that I'm taking to the hospital, and they said no, you have to stay outside."
Miguel Pesina tested positive for COVID-19 and was admitted for low oxygen levels and concerns about his heart rate.
“They put me on supplemental oxygen which was a new thing for me,” Miguel Pesina said. “It was scary, especially when you are alone and you can't have any visitors and you have to go through the process yourself.”
He was also worried about the healthcare workers who were caring for him.
“They are all dressed up in hazmat suits, and you realize they are putting their lives on the line for you. You have this sense of guilt, being there and being sick,” he said. “I thought of their families, and here they are helping people in the COVID-19 wing who are all sequestered to our rooms. I was basically thinking of every life that's impacted by this coronavirus thing.”
The family stayed in touch with Miguel Pesina via phone calls and FaceTime. Marisela Pesina could tell he was scared.
“The fact that nobody was there with him probably made it a little bit scarier,” she said. “I knew that there was going to be no way that we were going to be able to visit him.”
In an attempt to make her son smile, Marisela Pesina came up with an idea.
One day, she called Miguel Pesina and asked him to come to his hospital room's window. Outside, he saw his mother dancing with a balloon and pom-poms.
“There she was, dancing outside,” he said.
Marisela Pesina danced to Bob Marley’s “Don’t Worry About a Thing”, one of her favorite songs that she felt was the perfect song for the occasion.
“She was able to put a smile on my face,” Miguel Pesina said with a laugh. “Thankfully, the COVID-19 patients at St. Luke’s in Nampa are on ground floor level, and so they put the room numbers on the windows so family members can visit. So, it was really cool to see my mom there."
Putting the COVID-19 patients on the first floor of the hospital meant the world to Marisela Pesina.
“There is an opportunity for families to be able to do this, to visit with their sick family members in the hospital, because it means a lot,” she said. “Even if it's on the other side of a window to have that contact and communication, and if more hospitals can do that, that would be awesome.”
She and two other family members were eventually diagnosed with COVID-19, but their symptoms were mild.
After four days, Miguel Pesina was discharged from the hospital. He and the whole family are now COVID-free and doing well.
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