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Florida healthcare worker, 41, may lose both of her HANDS after developing blood clots

A Florida healthcare worker may lose her hands after a long and arduous five-month battle against the novel coronavirus.

Rose Felipe, 41, an EEG technician of more than 15 years at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, contacted the virus in early March.

Her condition quickly deteriorated and she was hospitalized, spending two months on a ventilator.

The ventilator saved her life but, during this period, Felipe suffered extensive tissue and muscle damage that had made her fingers go necrotic and turn black.

Doctors say she will likely have to lose most of her fingers or, in the worst case, both of her hands.

Felipe told the Miami Herald that she likely caught the virus due to poor safety measures that were put in place by hospital administrators.

‘At the beginning of the crisis, the precautions and protections were activated too late,’ she said. 

‘They told us to stretch our mask use to two weeks. There was a note on the board: “Wear your N-95 mask until it is soiled or wet and then you can exchange it.”

‘We made our own face shields with Krazy Glue. We bought the material on the internet with our own money.’  

A spokesperson told the newspaper that about five percent of the 12,500 workers at Jackson health system have tested positive for COVID-19. 

Felipe also had to travel throughout the hospital testing brain activity in many patients, which only increased her risk of exposure.

On March 9, Felipe learned she was infected with the virus and she had to be hospitalized at the very same hospital where she worked.

The mother-of-two, who is overweight, also has two underlying health conditions that likely worsened her condition, diabetes and asthma.

She was first placed on a ventilator before being placed on an extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) machine, the Herald reported.

The machine, typically used for those with heart and lung issues, pumps and oxygenates a patient’s blood outside the body, which allows the heart and lungs to rest. 

According to the Herald, she needed to undergo dialysis after her kidneys began showing signs of failure.   

Before being intubated, Felipe told CNN she asked a physician for a piece of paper so she could write a goodbye note to her children.

‘I wrote on the paper to my children that I wanted them not to give up, and not to be upset with God,’ she said.

‘Because if something were to happen to me, this was his will and I didn’t want them to be upset with God, I wanted them to be loving and happy that God allowed us to have the time that we did have.’ 

Doctors believe Felipe developed blood clots and didn’t have enough blood flow to her fingers, which turned them black.  

A surgical team told her she will probably need to have both hands be amputated at the wrist, although they might be able to save some fingers on her left hand, the Herald reported.

Felipe said what keeps her going is the thought of being able to see her sons – 12-year-old Saiid and five-year-old Ishaan, soon. 

‘I know that in the end, I’m going to be with them…I know that,’ she told CNN.

‘So that’s what keeps me focused, and it keeps me wanting to heal and wanting to get out of here fully restored.’  

Felipe’s niece has set up a GoFundMe page to help cover the cost of medical expense as well as ease the financial burden on Felipe’s children. 

As of Monday afternoon, more than $9,300 had raised out of a $50,000 goal. 

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