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‘I thought I was going to die’: EPCC trustee who lost both parents to Covid-19 is released from hospital

Bonnie Soria Najera
Bonnie Soria Najera arrives at home after being released from the hospital.

EL PASO, Texas-- El Paso Community College trustee Bonnie Soria Najera, who lost both her parents to Covid-19, was released from the hospital Tuesday afternoon after undergoing treatment for virus infection.

"When I left (home), I left because I thought I was going to die," she said Tuesday in an interview with ABC-7.

She rode in an ambulance from the hospital to her home, where she was wheeled to her front door and greeted by a welcome home sign.

"It was very touching," she observed. "As soon as I saw it, I cried. I didn't think I was going to make it back home. I honestly didn't. I left because I thought I was going to die. I wanted to get better at home."

Najera had been hospitalized since July 3 after becoming dehydrated and unable to hold down food.

It was an encouraging sign for her daughters and the rest of the family that admittedly have been on a "really scary and bumpy road" in recent times.

The pandemic has taken its toll on Najera. First her mother, Rosie Soria, died after being hospitalized on a ventilator. On the day funeral services were set for mom, Najera got word that her father, Leo Soria, had died too.

Within weeks of her parents passing, Najera was diagnosed with the virus. After trying to recover at home, she said her symptoms worsened and required a trip to the hospital.

"I was not going to go to the hospital because the doctors said unless you absolutely have to, don't go. I felt so sick. I felt like -- I thought for sure I was going to die," she explained.

But the entire time, she said she couldn't stop thinking about her family.

"I need to be here for my kids still. I still need to be here for my grand kids. I have two granddaughters. I really felt their presence. I still do and I hope to make them proud and I hope they continue helping me," she told ABC-7 on Tuesday. "I'm not out of the woods yet. I still can't breathe great. My lungs aren't clear and I'm not perfect yet, but I'm still trying."

Throughout her family's ordeal, Najera has repeatedly delivered impassioned pleas to her fellow El Pasoans imploring them to avoid mass gatherings, wear face masks and stay home when possible to stop the virus' spread in the community.

Najera said in an interview back in May with ABC-7 that she didn't want any other El Paso family to have to suffer the "pain, anger, frustration and sadness" of the tragic loss that she has had to endure.

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