Rio Grande Valley teenager writes Gov. Abbott letter as a last effort to help his mother survive COVID-19

Gov. Abbott helps teen’s mother get treatment she needs

MCALLEN, Texas – A 14-year-old Rio Grande Valley student got the support of the governor himself when he made a desperate plea to help his mother, who is fighting for her life after being diagnosed with COVID-19 in late December.

Erika Calderon, 48, tested positive for COVID-19 on Dec. 29 and was hospitalized on Jan. 4, 2021.

Calderon, a single mother to son Emilian Sosa, needs extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, or ECMO therapy, which relieves the stress of the lungs and heart. However, the treatment isn’t currently available in the Rio Grande Valley.

Emilian quickly acted after learning his mother could be taken off life support, so he wrote a letter to Gov. Greg Abbott.

The letter went viral on social media. It in part, “On February 3rd. I will be turning fifteen. The best gift that I could receive would be the news that you are providing my mother with the opportunity to receive the ECMO therapy. I beg of you to please make this a reality and help me bring my mother back home.”

Abbott responded on social media with the following tweet:

Doctors are waiting for Calderon’s status to stabilize before transferring her to a Houston hospital.

Read Emilian Sosa’s letter below:

About the Authors:

Jonathan Cotto is a reporter for KSAT's Nightbeat. Jonathan speaks English and Spanish and is a veteran of the United States Navy. Previously, he worked in South Texas.