SAN ANTONIO – The fight against COVID-19 has taken on a new meaning for Dr. Erika Gonzalez. Her parents were hospitalized after they contracted the virus.
“Having the virus affect my immediate family sheds a new light on it,” said Gonzalez.
Gonzalez said her parents took every precaution to stay safe.
“They did all the right things and unfortunately for them, they were still infected,” she said.
Her father, Heriberto, remains hospitalized but is recovering. However, her mother Laura died last month and was laid to rest this week.
She said her mother was able to be treated with convalescent plasma but wonders what the outcome would have been if she received it earlier.
Gonzalez said her mission for Con Corazon San Antonio has become more important. She serves as the chair of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and launched the charity in April.
She said the first initiative was to raise awareness on the importance of donating plasma, so COVID-19 patients have it when they need it.
“That is our goal, and it is an achievable goal,” she said.
Gonzalez believes the pandemic has shed light on health inequities and the risk hispanic families face. She said one of the many challenges is access to health care, which leads to medical problems.
“They’re also more often untreated or uncontrolled, which only puts them at higher risk,” said Gonzalez.
The charity also works to make sure people know how to access testing, as well as protective gear and sanitizers.
Although she is still mourning the loss of her mother, she said her mission isn’t over.
“As a compassionate community, we need to make sure that we’re all safe and healthy and can enjoy time with our family,” she said.