13-year-old Pearsall girl on life support after testing positive for COVID-19, going into cardiac arrest

Alina Valenzuela was transferred to Houston-area hospital

PEARSALL, Texas – A Pearsall 13-year-old girl is fighting for her life at Houston’s Texas Children’s Hospital after going into cardiac arrest. Alina Valenzuela’s health took a dramatic turn just less than two weeks ago.

Her older sister, Leticia, said Valenzuela’s health plummeted on Jan. 10.

“She started having breathing problems, and she came to my room,” Leticia said. “She told me (her) chest hurt.”

The young teenager was taken to a nearby ER where doctor’s ran tests and diagnosed Valenzuela positive for COVID-19. Her family says the 13-year-old was active, healthy and suffered from no underlying health conditions, leaving them shocked at their current situation.

Since her arrival in Houston, Alina has undergone two heart surgeries with Monday being the most recent. (KSAT)

“I get so overwhelmed with all the memories we’ve had, and I just think about all of all that we went through,” Leticia said.

After her positive diagnosis to the virus, Alina returned home. The next day, her family said the chest pain continued and eventually, fell unconscious.

“This is really, really overwhelming,” Janette Treviño, Alina’s aunt said.

Paramedics rushed Alina to a local hospital. Once there, doctors decided that due to her grave condition and need, it’d be best for the teen to be transferred to Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston.

“The doctors are doing everything they can to help strengthen her heart so they can slowly take her off (life support) and get her heart pumping by itself,” Treviño said.

Since her arrival to Houston, Alina has undergone two heart surgeries, with Monday being the most recent. Doctor’s have implanted an Impella heart pump but warn if her condition doesn’t improve, a heart transplant may be required.

“I’m praying and I have so much faith that she’s going to be healed,” Leticia said.

Now her family hopes for a miracle and full recovery.


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