Segment Synopsis: Jasmine was born and raised in New York City. Her father immigrated to the United States from Yemen at age 15 and made a living by starting his own business. Her mother and father met in an emergency room while they were both accompanying other family members. Jasmine is the fourth oldest of 19 siblings in total, between her father and his different partners. Jasmine’s mother is Puerto Rican and was born in Chicago. Growing up, Jasmine would split her time between her parents, but spent the weeks with her mom, who could be characterized as a happy person and a consistent caretaker. Jasmine’s mother fostered children throughout Jasmine’s childhood, so siblings have always been an important part in Jasmine’s life.
Keywords: New York
Segment Synopsis: One day when Jasmine was sixteen years old, her mother hadn’t returned after going out with her boyfriend the night before. Eventually, Jasmine’s aunt gathered her family together and broke the news that her mother had passed away in a car accident the night before. This experience had a huge effect on Jasmine, which she is still unpacking today. Since her mother’s death, Jasmine often carries a sense that something is going to go wrong and tends to anticipate that bad things may happen in her life again. After her mother passed, Jasmine decided to continue living in their apartment alone. Her aunts wanted her to move in with her father, and drama ensued, escalating to the point of police being called to the apartment. The management at her apartment allowed her to stay, and when she turned eighteen the apartment was signed under her name. Although her dad accepted the fact that she would not be moving in with him, he offered little financial support and Jasmine became financially independent. Jasmine currently lives in the same apartment with her husband and son, although she hopes to move soon.
Keywords: New York
Segment Synopsis: Jasmine lives in a very dense community in New York City, and worries that people are not taking sufficient precautions to protect against covid. Jasmine remembers first hearing of covid towards the end of February and suspecting that its severity was being over-played in the news. Once it began spreading in the United States, it affected people heavily in her neighborhood. Both Jasmine and her neighbor’s husbands were hospitalized with covid, and her neighbors husband passed away. Jasmine’s husband Freddie became sick early, in the first week of lockdown. His symptoms began with a cough and escalated to a sore throat and fever. Jasmine herself contracted a fever, and when they both tested for the virus, the results came back positive. Jasmine recovered relatively quickly, but Freddie became steadily worse. Jasmine checked him into the hospital she works at for fear of dehydration, and after a CAT scan, they discovered that he had pneumonia in both lungs. Once the pneumonia diagnosis was confirmed, it was decided that Freddie had to be checked into the hospital. At this time rooms were incredibly scarce, and the hospital was full of people sick with covid. Jasmine’s job at the emergency department helped her get Freddie a room and he was quickly intubated and put on ventilation.
Keywords: COVID-19 (Disease)--Death; COVID-19--Family Member Contraction; New York
Segment Synopsis: Freddie’s lung collapsed twice, and the doctors were having a hard time keeping his vitals stabilized. Eventually they determined that in order for Freddie to survive he would need to be put on an extracorporeal membrane oxygenation machine (ECMO). Jasmine’s hospital didn’t have ECMO machines, so they began calling other places. Because Freddie had been on ventilation for nine days, many places denied him due to criteria saying that ECMO patients could only be ventilated up to four or five days. Luckily, Jasmine knew the CEO of Bellevue Hospital which provides ECMO treatment, and they arranged for Freddie to be transferred there. Transferring Freddie proved to be very difficult, and they had to put him on a portable ventilator to stop him from coding in the ambulance on the way to Bellevue. Jasmine later found out that he ended up getting put on the ECMO machine in the ambulance on the way to the new hospital, because his oxygen levels had dropped to the 50s. Jasmine experienced some relief when Freddie was transferred because while he was in the ICU of the hospital that she works at, every code blue that she heard caused her to panic and think of Freddie.
Keywords: COVID-19--Family Member Contraction; Healthcare Worker; New York
Segment Synopsis: Faith was very helpful to Jasmine and her family during this time. A friend of Jasmine’s provided her with a number to a prayer service and Jasmine would call every day for Freddie. At one-point Jasmine’s son began having nightmares. Jasmine called the prayer service and they gave her son a prayer to repeat. They would pray nightly together, and his nightmares eventually subsided. At the time she felt as though there was nothing that she could do besides pray and believe in the Lord. Jasmine had always been a believer, but her belief in God changed throughout this experience, and ultimately her faith has been strengthened and become more pronounced since Freddie’s recovery. Jasmine slept on the couch for the duration of Freddie’s time on ventilation, which ended up being around two months. She felt that she couldn’t sleep in their bed without him when she knew how much he was suffering. Her son was able to be somewhat distracted by homeschooling and video games, but that time was very difficult for both of them. Their support system of good friends and family as well as their faith ultimately helped them through the extremely trying time.
Keywords: COVID-19--Family Member Contraction; Healthcare Worker; Latinx Community; New York; Recovery--Coronavirus
Subjects: COVID-19 (Disease)--Religious aspects; Quarantine--America
Segment Synopsis: During Freddie’s hospital stay, Jasmine felt as though she was in the midst of a storm and there was no clear path out. Freddie’s treatment was tumultuous. He had an abundance of chest tubes, had to undergo emergency surgery, and even went into septic shock. Much of the hospital staff did not think that Freddie was going to survive. Eventually they were able to take him off of the ECMO machine, but they were still very concerned about stopping ventilation. Nurses would remind Jasmine that he was still critically ill despite some successes in his treatment. Still, Jasmine maintained her faith that things were going to be okay. Jasmine called the hospital over Memorial Day weekend and was shocked to find out that Freddie had been successfully removed from the ventilator. His oxygen levels improved immensely, and Freddie began recovering rapidly. Initially, Freddie didn’t understand what was happening and had no idea how long he had been hospitalized. He recalled dreams in which he was drowning or in water. Eventually the confusion subsided, and he moved to a rehabilitation center. He stayed there for one week and then was discharged to continue his recovery at home.
Keywords: COVID-19 (Disease)--Death; COVID-19 Survivor; COVID-19--Family Member Contraction; Healthcare Worker; New York; Recovery--Coronavirus
Subjects: COVID-19 (Disease)--Religious aspects; Quarantine--America
Segment Synopsis: After his hospital stay, Freddie began recovering very quickly. While he was in treatment he lost 30lbs and a lot of strength. His physical and occupational therapy has been helping him regain some of his lost strength. Now, he can walk for 30 minutes on the treadmill and lift 15lb weights. Jasmine contends that a lot of his progress has to do with his determination to get better. One ongoing issue is that he is having trouble fully opening his fingers. This is especially frustrating because much of the professional work that he does is with his hands. Freddie was very grateful to Jasmine in light of this experience, calling her his angel. They are both immensely grateful for Jasmine’s position at the hospital, and think that if it weren't for her job, he would not have received the treatment that he needed, and likely would not have survived.
Keywords: COVID-19 Survivor; Healthcare Worker; Latinx Community; New York; Recovery--Coronavirus
Subjects: COVID-19 (Disease)--Religious aspects; Quarantine--America
Mon, 9/28 8:08AM • 1:29:08
hospital, ventilator, called, mom, day, husband, felt, people, home, happened,lungs, dad, week, interview, thought, passed, doctor, apartment, sick, helped
Ramon Rodriguez 00:00
Hello, today is Monday August 3, of 2020. My name is Ramon Rodriguez and I'minterviewing Jasmine Virola for the Voces Oral History Center at the University of Texas at Austin. Please know Miss Viola that this interview will be placed in the Nettie Lee Benson Latin American collection at the University of Texas at Austin. If there's anything you do not wish to answer or talk about, I will honor your wishes. Also, if there's something you do want to talk about, please bring it up and we'll talk about it. Because we're not conducting this interview in person, I need to record you consenting. So I'll ask you a series of five questions. Please say yes, I agree or No, I do not agree after each one. There are two questions we need to make sure you agree to before we go on. Voces wishes to archive your interview along with any other photographs and other documentation at the Benson library at UT Austin. You'll retain copyright of the interview and any other materials you donate to Voces. Do you wish to give Voces consent to archive your interview and your materials at the Benson library?
Jasmine Virola 01:00
Ramon Rodriguez 01:02
Do you grant Voces copyright over the interview and any material you provide?
Jasmine Virola 01:06
Ramon Rodriguez 01:07
Do you agree to allow us to post this interview on the internet where it may beviewed by people around the world?
Jasmine Virola 01:13
Ramon Rodriguez 01:15
If any one of these questions is no then the deal's off, but hopefully- what?Okay, this is that's for me. Um, we have many questions in the pre-interview form already filled out. Okay. We use that information from the pre-interview form to help us in research, the entire forum is kept in a secure Voces server. Before we send it to the Benson we would have stripped out any contact information for yourself or family members. So that will not be part of your public file. Your public file will only be accessible at the Benson library. Do you wish for us to share the rest of your interview and your public file available to the researchers at the Benson?
Jasmine Virola 01:53
Yes, that's fine.
Ramon Rodriguez 01:54
On occasion, Voces receives requests from journalists who wish to contact ourinterview subjects. We only deal with legitimate news outlets. Do you consent for us to share your phone numbers or email with journalists?
Jasmine Virola 02:06
Ramon Rodriguez 02:07
Great. Cool. Well, into the interview then. So um, let's start off a little bittalking about your childhood. Can you tell me a little bit about your parents?
Jasmine Virola 02:17
Um, my mom, she was a stay at home mom. Um, she NSN Nicole, she was also afoster mom. So we used to have foster kids here. And the apartment. My dad, he was an immigrant who moved to New York in the age of 15. And he had he went to school here for a little while. And he had his own business here for over 30 years.
Ramon Rodriguez 02:41
So um, your dad's Yemeni no?
Jasmine Virola 02:44
Yeah, he's from Yemen he's Yemeni.
Ramon Rodriguez 02:46
So um, what was his story? Why did he come over and all that stuff?
Jasmine Virola 02:52
To make a better life for himself? Yeah, to make a better life for myself. Butshe did. He accomplished that and you know, when he came over here, doing all that he was able to send money things back home, to my grandfather and, and other family members to help them out and that he was the first one to come over here to keep he actually helped everyone get on the feet when they came when they came over.
Ramon Rodriguez 03:12
Really. So he came over by himself and it was 15.
Jasmine Virola 03:15
Well, I whenever they came over, he came over by himself. But he started makinghe made a name for himself on its own.
Ramon Rodriguez 03:23
Really. So how did how did he do that? One day. What did he start doing? Good.Where did he move to in New York?
Jasmine Virola 03:31
Brooklyn, Brooklyn, New York was east. East Flatbush. Okay, yeah, that's wherehe lived that index between east Flatbush and Crown Heights. You know, I think when his uncle's had like a store here, and he came to school here, it was going to school and then he I guess he started were helping them out working. And eventually, he ended up opening his open his own stores and things like that. Yeah, like three, four stores. Then at the end, and we just had just like he sold them. He just had one. Yeah, bodegas, right. Yeah, but yeah.
Ramon Rodriguez 04:05
Um, did he speak English when he came over?
Jasmine Virola 04:07
Um, no, I really didn't know. But he learned English. And he learned Spanish. Sohe spoke three languages.
Ramon Rodriguez 04:15
So how did he pick them up? Did he was he going to school when he came here? Like,
Jasmine Virola 04:20
why he was going to school when he's here, but I don't think he graduate. Ithink he maybe did like, maybe a few years of school because he didn't graduate high school here. So he just I just did a few years. And that was in maybe like two or three years. And I guess he just learned on his own being around people and things like that. But it was actually he picked up very fast. That's interesting. Yeah, he learned Spanish. He picked it up being around Spanish people. And you know, yeah.
Ramon Rodriguez 04:48
So you mentioned in the pre interview form that he met your mom at a party. Tellme a little bit about that. Also, tell me a little bit about your No,
Jasmine Virola 04:55
no, no, no, no, me and my husband met at a party.
Ramon Rodriguez 05:01
Oh, that's right.
Jasmine Virola 05:02
My mom and my dad, they actually met out of the hospital and emergency room.They met an emergency room, my mom was taking my sister there, to the emergency room and my dad was taking my cousin's to the emergency room. And that's where they met at the emergency room with next to his house. But you know, what he saw was that I would say my mom had me at 23, early 20s, because my mom was my mom, they would forgive me for like, I wasn't even around 21 My mom was maybe he was like, 24, 25 he's just a few years older.
Ramon Rodriguez 05:36
So um, did they. So So tell me a little bit about your mom, what's her ethnicityand what kind of what was she like when she was growing up up to that point where she met your dad.
Jasmine Virola 05:51
Um, my mom is Puerto Rican. She was born in Chicago, in Chicago, Illinois. Um,you know, from what I heard, and what I've seen, you know, she was always more like a caregiver or a caretaker, she was always a caretaker, they helping out taking care of like, my grandmother was being what she had my sisters. My sister couldn't say that, that when she gave birth to my sister, they dislocated my sister's hips. And so my sister couldn't walk for three years. So she was busy taking care of that, you know, hospital doctor's appointments, things like that. But for the most part, I know that she was just a happy person always helping people out and
Ramon Rodriguez 06:31
What was, what was it like growing up in kind of that multicultural environment?You know, your dad's from Yemen.
Jasmine Virola 06:40
I mean, for the most part, when I was with my, when I would go to my dad, andwe'll pick me up, um, they, they, they were separated, they separated at the age of two when I was so Okay, um, he will pick me up every weekend. And, I mean, it was so my dad would take me everywhere, we will go on drives, and he will adjust drive, and he'll just stick with different parks and, and outlets that we just always he did something every weekend with me. Um, but when I was around him, there were certain things that I couldn't do when I you know, versus when I'm on my mom, they started out with a mountain. I wouldn't eat any pork occurs and things like that. And I make sure I'm covered up, you know, hopefully you can't wear like tight clothes and you know, things like that. Yeah, right. Yeah.
Ramon Rodriguez 07:22
So you mentioned in the pre interview form that you had a lot of siblings? Um,tell me about that. Yeah.
Jasmine Virola 07:29
Yeah. So my dad, he was a quite a ladies man. He has a he has 19 kids together.I am the oldest. Okay, I am the fourth oldest. And then from there. I'm actually mean my brother, we the same age we like to three months apart. So he's I turned my birthdays in May. His birthday is in August, but we're the same age. And a lot of the kids that are like that make a lot of his kids. They are at the same age because he had no he would have like his wife. In the I don't know, the Muslim religion. They allowed to have multiple wives. So yeah, his wife and young men. And then he had the woman that he was seeing here. Like my mom was Puerto Rican, then my sister's mom's he was actually married to my sister's mom. And he had two kids for her. But he didn't sell me anything. And so I think I was like, 15 when he told me about that I had two sisters that he was married. And they were ready to 12. And yeah, there was she was 12. And the other one was, you know, she was younger. And they Filipino. They mom's Filipino? Yeah. And then I have another brother and sister, their mom salvadorian. And then the rest of the and everyone else is just to Arabic.
Ramon Rodriguez 08:41
So Ah, why did he tell? Wait, why did he hold off on telling you about yoursisters today? He's married. You know
Jasmine Virola 08:49
what? I thought? I guess because when I was younger, he's always asked me aboutlike, well, I'm gonna get married, and I'm gonna give a nice, it's like, No, they don't I whoever you're gonna marry, they're not gonna be my step mom, they're not gonna, you know, just, I guess that. But he never he never mentioned it. I only knew about my brothers. You know, that's who he's always bringing me around my older brother. And then the brother. That means the same age. But the two girls, he never told me that even you know his wife right before he passed away. When I first met her, he didn't somebody that was his wife. She's from Yemen. He told me that was my cousin. And then that was actually his wife. And she was pregnant with gone with her first child for my dad. And when she gave birth, he said that was my cousin's baby. And then finally, he was just very secretive in those takeaways for some reason. Why? I don't know, but that's what he was. But at the end mean, everyone knows everyone and yeah,
Ramon Rodriguez 09:40
yeah. Are you close with many of your siblings? Are there some that you'redefinitely closer with than others?
Jasmine Virola 09:45
Yeah, there's some that I'm closer with than others, and a lot has to do withthe age difference. Mm hmm. Yeah. So a lot has to do with the age difference.
Ramon Rodriguez 09:54
Which ones you mentioned a brother who's pretty close in age do
Jasmine Virola 09:58
yeah, my I have my brother. Neville, we actually are the same age, we'reactually not close. But my older brother Ali meet him we're close going up because my dad used to always have me around him. He's, he's a few years older than me. So me him grew up more together. And then when I want them and my other two sons, my Filipino sisters, you know, we we speak all the time. And then, um, the sisters that I that he has with the wife before he passed away, um, which is my youngest sister, they're like 22 2019. So they I speak to them pretty often one of them I'm actually really close with, she comes in she comes to my house every now and then. But for the most part, it's only a few sisters, the boys I'm not the other boys on this day younger than me. And so we're not really too close. Yeah, but it's mostly the girls that I'm closer to.
Ramon Rodriguez 10:47
How about you? What kind of kid were you like growing up? Were you? Were yougood at school? Or?
Jasmine Virola 10:53
What? Uh, I was I was an okay student only because I it was, if I appliedmyself, it would have been totally different. Yeah. My, yeah, I was actually like, into like one thing and got with my friends and be you know, hanging out on the block and going to the park and going to pay him bortnick. So that was going up. That was like, when I once I reached that age, that's what I wanted to do, like, be outside and hang out and things like that. But if I would apply, I mean, I passed school and everything is just, I just didn't care too much of it. Looking back now, I wish I would have done things differently. But you know, I guess you don't individually learn.
Ramon Rodriguez 11:33
Yeah, right. What are some kind of things that you and your friends would getinto any, like memorable stories?
Jasmine Virola 11:39
Oh, there's too many. Too many. It was just, it was just always after fun andlaughs and just doing crazy thing is it was it was pretty cool.
Ramon Rodriguez 11:51
Yeah. And you mentioned your mom was a foster mom, how many people did you growup with?
Jasmine Virola 11:56
Yeah, she was a foster mom. Oh, I was gonna say we had a total of like, five orsix, I think five or six. Um, me them we were really close to which are one of them that she first got, um, he was, uh, we got him out a new one. He was a newborn. She got him at two weeks. So as soon as he was out the hospitals and hospital. So he was two weeks total. We had him all the way saves three years old. So when it was time for him to go back to that his dad fought for him to go back. That was that was emotional, because we didn't want him to see. We're very attached to him. And the same thing for we had another boy or two boys. They were brothers. And they were young. She's always getting the bus used to get little one. And we had them for a few years. And then my mom had got sick and she was in the hospital. And so you know, the the foster agency knew that she was in hospital, so they had to take them. And that would that hurt it as well because we were very close to them. They didn't want to leave. I didn't want them to leave. So but it was a nice experience to help people all like to give them that sibling love and they never got it and you know, you grow attached to them. Mm hmm.
Ramon Rodriguez 13:08
Tell me about your mom getting sick. Whoa, what happened there?
Jasmine Virola 13:11
No, she she started to like an emergency surgery she had on my thing with hergallbladder or something like that. It wasn't nothing. I mean, at that time, it was serious. But it was she was in the hospital for a while and I was a teenager. I wasn't an agent. So I couldn't stay with the kids. Yeah. So they had to be taken to another house. Yeah, once the agency found out that she was in the hospital. So I wasn't I was a teenager, so I was able to stay in my house.
Ramon Rodriguez 13:36
Oh, so yeah, we were talking about your mom's um, gallbladder abouJasmine Virola 13:44
Oh, yeah. So she that's what happened. She had got sick local bladder. And soagain, I was a teenager, so I couldn't stay with the kids. And so they had to be, you know, the social worker came to remove them from the home stick of another home. And so that was that was like the hard part of of, of her being a foster parent is when it was time for them to go back to their families. If you knew that the families weren't the greatest, you know,
Ramon Rodriguez 14:11
Jasmine Virola 14:12
Yeah. So that kind of stuff.
Ramon Rodriguez 14:15
Were you able to keep in touch with any of them?
Jasmine Virola 14:18
No, there was one that when we tried to keep in touch, but it was it was kind ofhard. Especially back then there was like no cell phones and you know, it was it was the household and so um,
Ramon Rodriguez 14:36
So how long was your mom in the hospital for?
Jasmine Virola 14:40
Um, she was there for like two weeks I believe for like a week or two.
Ramon Rodriguez 14:44
Jasmine Virola 14:45
Yeah, I think that I don't really recall because I know I was, I was younger soI didn't really I know she was in the hospital for gallbladder. I just wasn't really in the hospital knowing what exactly medical terms going on and things like that because I was younger, like my grandpa. Mother was better taken care of all that stuff. So they would just send us limited things. Yeah. Yeah.
Ramon Rodriguez 15:06
Was your grandma kind of a fixture in her life?
Jasmine Virola 15:09
Oh, what? A fix my grandmother? Yeah. Oh, yeah. Yeah, my grandmother. Yeah, shelives up the block for me. So she's behind my mama.
Ramon Rodriguez 15:17
Um, so she was so she was around a lot. Did she have any part in kind of likeraising you and your mom wasn't around?
Jasmine Virola 15:26
Um, I mean, I was saved every now and then. But for the most part, my mom wasalways around. She's not really that she wasn't she was there my whole life. Right? Yeah. It was good. When did you move out? No, I actually stood my mom passed away when I was 16. Really? So yeah, so when she passed away, I actually ended up staying in apartment by myself. I've been on my own since I was 16. It was a fight, but I ended up doing it.
Ramon Rodriguez 15:55
Tough. How did how did she pass away?
Jasmine Virola 15:58
In a car accident.
Ramon Rodriguez 16:00
What was what was that? Like? Um,
Jasmine Virola 16:05
That was I mean, that was something that we didn't expect. She she went out withher boyfriend. It was his birthday. And they went out and apparently, the next day when I was here, it was like it was a Sunday. They went out and that Monday morning. Um, ha boyfriend's job was quoting here quoting my house looking for him because he was he didn't show up to work. So when I went to her room, I saw that they would they would never came home. And then I didn't think that enough of it. And they would again, no one had cell phones at that time. And and then my art, my art my one of my mother's younger sister she did with my grandmother. And she had called me and she was like, oh, come over to grandma's house. But she didn't tell me Well, it was. So we all got through like my other artists in my in my cousin said she got that I went up. And she had sort of that there was a car accident. And my mom didn't make it like that. Yeah. That was that was devastating. You know?
Ramon Rodriguez 17:09
How did you? How did you take the news? What What were the ensuing months yearslike, following? I mean,
Jasmine Virola 17:19
I guess I was I was I was young. And of course, I was reading and it's my momand things like that. But I guess it didn't, I didn't realize the trauma was affected me really. And so I got a little older, they were my dad got sick. So you know what happened, I started gaining weight. And literally, like, in one year I gained from like, when she died that April 18 99. And by the end of December, I had gained like 30 pounds. But I'm not thinking anything of it. You know, I'm just whatever. And you know, and I always then from there, I always had an issue that my weight going up and down, up and down. And then when my dad got sick, my dad got sick. That's when I noticed I was more of an emotional eater. Because that's when I caught myself that I wasn't even hungry, but I was eating. And I noticed that that find it, you know, that trauma had to do with my mom, and just, you know, that's how it started from from them. That I guess be you know, that was a traumatic experience. And the thing is that when that happened, I so I've ever since that happened at movies in the fear of something's going to happen. Makes are always have that effect that that fear of like, I can be so happy because something's going to happen. Or if something's going good, just something bad's gonna happen around the corner. So that's like, that's, that's like a few that I have. Because of that, and I know it stems from that, at first, I didn't realize that it's like, as I got older, I didn't realize that's right, I was coming from but you know, after looking at my theano just catching my eye on what I what I say, my face cycles, I noticed that that's what I can you know, stem from from that, from that trauma and losing her unexpectedly. And, you know, when I was a teenager, when I was younger, we were in on the best terms because again, I was one that always wanted to hang out in the streets. I was, I was a second child. So I was like, I was a troublemaker kind of to say, you know, I was gonna be better this one, you know, didn't want to listen, when it's to hang out and just do what I say things like that. But when we got to the point that we were actually when I was 16 and that we were actually not arguing anymore, which is like communicating better and getting on good terms. That that's what that happened. So I didn't even get to like have that like that relationship with her.
Ramon Rodriguez 19:43
So um, when when she passed away, did you did you act out more than you had?Sometimes people do that after going through a trauma like that.
Jasmine Virola 19:55
No,I didn't. I lived though my I mean, I lived in the point Sit in the apartmentand I never had parties. I've never done nothing, none of that. I just actually what made me do it actually, it made me because I was like messing up in school because I was hanging out and things like that. So what made me do I actually had a, you know, when I got my diploma, and I got a job. And so everything was just like pretty much it was just growing up, I just had to grow up fast. That was the reality of it, I had to figure it out fast. Because now I'm on my own. And my dad, he videos and he wasn't really helping me because they wanted me to go live with my dad. And I didn't want to just because, again, around him, my father was a totally different person than who I wasn't my mom. So you know, my dad, I will give him that respect, because I knew those are things that he didn't like, I wouldn't do certain things around him, or my mom, I was just who I was. So that's something I didn't want to do. I didn't want to do with my dad, I refused to do it. My dad, like my arms were like, two of my arms were like pressuring me like they tried to get me on my apartment. And like they call the cops on me saying that I was a minor living here. And it was just like a whole, it was a lot of drama. That's exactly what a lot of drama, because that's exactly, you know, I'm mourning my mom, like my mom died two weeks before my 17th birthday. So I was 16 Two weeks later, I turned 17. So, you know, I, when I talked to my dad, and he understanding when to go live with him, you know, he didn't press the issue, but he wasn't gonna, like support it either. Alright, so you want to live on your own, you got to figure it out there on your own, he wasn't going to be supporting me and He will give me you know, allowances every now and then. But for the most part, I didn't he didn't um, he didn't really helped me out. And that in that sense, when it came financially, he said it helped me out. What did help me out that I did get a lawsuit for my mom's death since it was a car accident in the car. So that that's what actually they helped me out. Like finance, finances, and then you know, then I thought the work unit. So then I graduated, but once I got my diploma, I thought it working at the age of 18 and working
Ramon Rodriguez 22:00
well what did you start doing? What do you started working at?
Jasmine Virola 22:05
I thought I was a hostess at a restaurant.
Ramon Rodriguez 22:09
What kind of place was it?
Jasmine Virola 22:11
it's actually really nice restaurant in Manhattan. My cousin worked that she shewas one of the main hostess there. She got me into our fifth maybe for like a year. And then I'm so I moved on to a law firm. And I was working in a law firm. And I was there for maybe two, three years. I worked in the office services department there. And then I left there to go back to school to go to college. I started that and I didn't finish it at the moment. But then I just went I just started just getting other jobs.
Ramon Rodriguez 22:43
I'm kind of moving back a little bit to your mom passing away. Um, you mentionedthere being a lot of drama. So that that really affected the whole family, your sisters, your grandma and stuff like that.
Jasmine Virola 22:58
Well Well me and my aunts. Yeah, cuz my oldest is for my mom only have onesister she's older than my sister didn't live here. My sister already have moved out she was married. She did that in North Carolina. So what that was, it was with two of my parents, my mom has how many siblings think like six of them six or seven. Um, my uncle didn't give me no big my, it's really I have two arms that they were very, like, this is what you're going to do and that say like, they just wanted to, like, not ask me like, what do you want to do to sit down and talk to me? Which is like, what, no, this is what you're gonna do and what's gonna happen and so and i and i fall back on, like, that's not what's gonna happen. That's not what I'm doing. I'm gonna stay right here. I'm not moving anywhere. I was already 17 when I spoke to my arm, you know, that was like, I didn't speak with them. I didn't speak to my arms for years. years because of that, you know, just the fact that like, my mom died and this is what they did. Like, you know, you've got in your your cops on your knees. That just to get me out of an apartment. They even went to like my management office to tell them that I was under age. Let me hear that. Are you really trying to get me out of apartment. And no management office didn't do anything. They didn't bother me. Um, my so what happened is my that the lawyer that my dad, um, connected me with for my mom's lawsuit, which was his lawyer, and he was trying to get me emancipated for the year because I was already 17. So it was just absorbed was turned 18 just so no one could bother me. But he couldn't get me emancipated for whatever, whatever the reason was, so they end up making my grandmother, my legal guardian for those last few months, um, but it's like, they didn't have to live with her. I could just sit here and it's technically eventually she was my legal guardian, but I was still staying in my apartment. Once I turned 18 my my management office reached out to me and they called me into the office saying that, you know, they knew my mother had passed away they knew everything but they didn't want you know, I guess it's the rep was getting paid and there was no complaints being like, you know, from anyone seeing like, you know, hanging out going on loud music, and nothing what they would have no complaints they didn't, they didn't bother me. So once I turned 18, they called me into the office and, and put me head of the household. And then I just had to remove my sister off the lease, because I told them she moved. She had to sign a letter saying that she, you know, she gives up her rights apartment because she was, so she's older than me, she had, you know, the first rights. And that once I turn 18, they change, they put everything under my name. And I've been here ever since been 21 years.
Ramon Rodriguez 25:32
So you're still in the same apartment? At the same in the same apartment? Wow.That's, that's really interesting. Um, does that, uh,does it Does that ever bring up back memories from childhood or anything? Or is it just like, it's changed so much as you've gotten older?
Jasmine Virola 25:54
No, it does change a lot. Because, you know, I have my son, and I've beenraising my son here. So there isn't that, that I think I want to move. That's something that he didn't want to do actually want to, you know, buy a house. And so when I look at the memories, that's what always gets me. Because I hate the building that I live in. I hate the neighborhood I live in. But when I say q1, I'm here my apartment, I have all these memories of when I was a child with a, you know, my mom was me raising my son just like everything, you know, everything my neighbor, she was like my second mom, that was my mom's best friend. And when my mom died, she's the one who stepped in, like, she's, you know, she helped me raise my son and such as, like, a lot of memories here. So that's, it's more of an emotional attachment. I think that's why I hesitated a little more. But it's, it's that time, especially with the whole COVID situation, like it really opened my eyes like, no, it's time you gotta go, you gotta end this chapter in your life and just start a new chapter. And so it's just like, trying to let it go. That's the problem letting go.
Ramon Rodriguez 27:00
Why? Why is that? What is it about COVID that kind of opened your eyes to that,
Jasmine Virola 27:05
um, because I live in a dense, very dense community. And where I live at, theydon't, they don't take a lot of precautions over here. You know, people, they hang out, like in big groups, when no mask on, like, they don't keep the area clean. You know, when I'm walking in the building, there's like, a whole bunch of people outside and it's like, smoking weed and just say, it's just like, it's like, they don't care what's going on. And but I see how it affected me and affected my husband, they and it just bothers me that people just don't take it seriously. And, again, the community I live in a very dense community in the area that we live in. And no one takes it seriously. They really don't.
Ramon Rodriguez 27:41
So I'm transitioning a little bit to COVID. Um, what was what are you taking itseriously at first? or What was it like for you, when you first heard about it back when was kind of only China and then when it kind of moved in?
Jasmine Virola 27:57
So but yeah, so when I first heard about it, it was a little alarm. But then I,you know, in the first week, I didn't think um, when was it but things was like, towards like, the end of February that they were saying that there was some cases I think, in Washington, Washington State, right. And, um, you know, I thought about it, but I just thought them at that moment that maybe the media was like hyping it up more than what it was, you know, and I'm like, because I was just like, the flu is like the flu. So that was kind of my my mentality. Like, all right, like the flu. So then once we started getting physical cases here, because we actually once they got to New York, is like we got it. The first maybe like the first week or two, we really had bought COVID. So it was it started just everything just started. It actually happened really fast. And I think that's where we I didn't expect that to happen. But how fast that happened, and how fast it affected a lot of people especially where I live. They got a lot of people, my neighbor, her husband, you know, my neighbor, her husband died from it. You know, when I was in the hospital, my husband was in the hospital. They were both in hospital and and you know, she ended up dying. So it was it was I didn't expect that it was gonna happen the way it did. So at first like I said, once the lockdown happened I was fine with the lockdown and we went we went to the supermarket. We did everything that everything is supposed to be. We actually were ready for the lockdown and as soon as the lockdown on that Sunday, which was the thing watch 15 watch. 14 was a Saturday Sunday. That was like the weekend that that was the last weekend and then after that it was considered a lockdown. And then um my husband's birthday was three days VEDA was on the 18th since everything was closed, we went to Long Island to my cousin's house, just me to have dinner with them. It was just some tool at their house. And then the next day, that's when my husband got sick. So was there The first week of lockdown, he got sick.
Ramon Rodriguez 30:03
And so did he start showing symptoms immediately? or What happened there? How'd you?
Jasmine Virola 30:11
I got, like I said, like his birthday was March 18. We went on guy and weactually stood over there. And when we came back to Brooklyn, on the next day, we came home, you know, do whatever we do. He went to work. He went to work in the evening. And he came back. He was sitting on the sofa, and I heard coffee. And I was in the kitchen. I think I was cooking at the time, and I make coffee. You know, I made a joke out of it. You think? No, no, I drink water went down the wrong pipe. And I was like, Okay. 59 of it. And then that next day, Friday, that was through Friday. So now. Yeah, so now Friday. He's coughing still, and I'm still coughing. He was like, Yeah, no, I don't know. I feel like something's in my throat. Now that go right. And then Saturday. So he said, He's, like, I'm coming down with something like that Saturday, which was the 20th. No, the 21st. He was like, I feel like I'm coming down with something like, I'm gonna get sick. I make noise in your head. Don't think about, you know, just trying to like, not not get him anxious about it. And then that Saturday night, he started feeling like he was getting fever and things like that. And then he actually did it again. He had an OB fever at that time. And then Sunday, he had fever. When I checked in the fever on Monday, he had fever Monday, I was to work that Monday and when I came home, yeah. So he was in bed the whole day. He was uh, he, he looked like crap. And I was like, You know what, sweetie, like, I still don't feel good. And I was giving him Tylenol. But Shiva wasn't breaking, his fever will go down to maybe like 99. But it wouldn't go past that and then or just shoot right back up. And I wasn't giving him motion because that they were seen on the news not to give them motion ibuprofen, you know, only Tylenol, because they, you know, everything was early. We didn't know what to do that Monday night, I work at the hospital. So when I came back home from work, I actually called my boss, my boss is the chief of the emergency department. So I called my boss and I told him my husband's symptoms, he was a sound, he could have a mouthpiece of the virus, um, but just make sure you know, just give him fluids given Tylenol and just, you know, watch out for like shortness of breath, or whatever, right. So that that Tuesday, the day I called out that he they offered him whatever he got, so that if he hasn't most likely you're gonna get it too. I was like, okay, that's Tuesday morning. The next thing I got up, I went to stand up, and I got so dizzy that I thought I was going to pass out and like, I ran to the bathroom, and I started panicking and just felt like, I felt flushed. It was just flushed with he had to go to bath, which is so cool. So myself on the floor, because I thought I was gonna pass out and I threw water over me and I just kept doing cold water over my body for like, 1015 minutes in the bathroom. And then when I started feeling better after that, when I checked myself and I'm having fever, I had no Greek people. So, um, so I pulled out of work, I didn't go to work. And then I called I called NYU, the telehealth because they were saying they don't go to the hospital. You don't have to. So let me do a telehealth visit my husband and I did it for him. And they, you know, they checked him out for the cell health note as well. They may think that kept on saying that he doesn't have shortness of breath. You know, that's what that's where the problems and shortness of breath. He didn't have shortness of breath at that time. But then I didn't set a vision for myself the same thing they told me, it could be a mild case of them. You don't have shortness of breath, just you know, look for that. Look up for that ticket Tylenol. I happy with Tuesday, Wednesday. Tuesday, Wednesday, I have the bright side of a Wednesday after that. I didn't have any more fever, but he still had fever. So he had fever. Saturday night, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday. Now we are Thursday. Now this is the sixth day we're fever breaking. So I call the tele health again. I'm like a huge they could they were like, oh, it could last anywhere between seven to 12 days. And I'm like, sorry. I'm like listen, this is the sixth day with fever. His he was not breaking it. You sure? Like I shouldn't bring him to like no longer there's no shortness of breath, but he was getting worse. And he looked worse. And so that fried So I did that. I did another syllabus with him that Thursday, they told me that I started writing, he was not enough Friday's going up and he had diarrhea. He couldn't keep anything down. He kept on going up and he was running to the bathroom. So that his fever was wasn't breaking at all. So I felt maybe he he was dehydrated. That's it if you know you're throwing up you have diarrhea, if he was not breaking, it could be from you know, dehydration, you know that could happen. So I called since I work for the emergency department, I went online and I checked to see who was working that night. And I saw one of the guys that I know that works there and I asked him you know my husband has the systems, but I want to bring him in for fluids. Maybe he's hydrated because he's not holding anything now. Do that go right up. Bring him in who put him who put you somewhere separate because I didn't want to be what I call it a patient because the hospital at that time was in the package. And it was like a horror movie. That's what it was. It looked like you were in a horror movie in the hospital. But emergency was it was horrible. They were. They were beds bodies all over the place. And it says there was no room. Any beds on the floor is that pee? They were intubated patients in the ED face. So you see patients every every corner of the emergency department with ventilators on, you know, intubated, and it was just scary. So when he went that, over that Friday, which ended up being March 27, we went to the hospital and they gave him IV fluids, they gave him um, medicine, his his fever book came down. So he's like, Alright, let me do an X ray of his chest just to make sure everything's good. We're going into the X ray, when he went inside the X ray room, the PA to talk to the SEC, he stood there for like, an extra few seconds. So I just had that feeling because I know it doesn't take long for the X rays. I know it used to be like, Oh, no, everything's good. You know, the once he's once he's still there, those extra couple seconds, I would just say. So then when he came out, he was like, Listen, you know, we're gonna do a CAT scan. And I'm like, Why? What did you find me that? You know, I just want to get a better picture of what you know what's going on? So what do you see that you want to do a CAT scan? He was like, um, he has a bilateral pneumonia and he hasn't no ammonia is on lower loads. There's fluids there. I'm like, and so I was just pissed off because I you know, I kept on I qualified to help twice. Then ignore stay home, stay home. He didn't did he didn't have shortness of breath until the last day. So if I were to party with it took him earlier, he put the guy's got kind of got medication for the pneumonia. And it wouldn't ever fight. He went to both don't grasp it when they did the CAT scan day, but they already said that. Yeah, submit him because when you have an ammonia bill for your lungs, they have some issue. So he was like, Listen, call your boss. And it's all him. Your husband what's going on with your husband? He was asking for a room because there's no rooms available in the hospital. See what he could do for you? Because if not, he was we got patients that been bounced this for three days already. That has no So no, it It helps me out working at the hospital. Because if suddenly, if that would never happen, I think me working there, he probably would never made it. So you know, that's all you got admitted that price will be the end up getting the room. So like six in the morning, like Saturday, six in the morning. That's when they took us upstairs the room. And all um, I came home that morning. I slept for a little while. I went back to the hospital. That was Saturday. Yeah. So that's Sunday morning, Freddy had called me saying that he couldn't make it was hard. It was getting harder and harder for him to breathe. You know, it was getting harder for him to be when they spoke the max, you know, told them that, you know, oxygen levels job he want to go on the ventilator is you know, as two levels job, and he agreed to it. And I was actually I didn't want to do it. But you know, that's something he said he want you know, he was fine doing? And then especially if so that when it came to that, that they have that Sunday, he couldn't breathe. He said he was saying he was suffering? Is it I'm suffering. I can't breathe. You know, either. I can't I can't leave it hurt. Everything hurts. And so they end up ventilating him, I went to the hospital, um, and they ended up putting him on the ventilator intubated him, it was like a 130 naps. Because I was in my office and I was facetiming him from downstairs, because I couldn't see his room since he was COVID. So my office was upstairs. I was in my office and I was just talking to him. And you know, and so the anesthesiologist came and they came to the ventilation and you upset to be him. And that was that Sunday, the 27th.
Ramon Rodriguez 39:02
Sorry, can you repeat that again? That's what
Jasmine Virola 39:05
That was the 27th. He got he got intubated on March 27. No, I'm sorry. 29th. Yougot to admit it March 27. And then he got intubated. March 29.
Ramon Rodriguez 39:17
And how long was the intubated for?
Jasmine Virola 39:21
Um, he was intubated for 57 days.
Ramon Rodriguez 39:24
Jasmine Virola 39:25
Yeah, he got off. He got off the ventilator on Memorial Day weekend. More thanthe end of May.
Ramon Rodriguez 39:38
And so what are you doing during these 57 days? I are you carrying around yourlife normally or what's what's happening? No on the outside.
Jasmine Virola 39:48
Ah, I was the first the first couple of days he was doing good. You know,everything was good that the doctor would actually be off the ventilator and a couple of days. from one day to the next, his lung had collapsed. And he had a pneumothorax that when his lungs collapsed, and they had to put it, they said that there was air outside of his lung that was between as long as his chest cavity and back that it causes lung to collapse. And they have to put a chest tube in the side of him, the side of his leg where your ribs out on the side, on the arm in that area down, you really rip that they have to put a chest tube there, and to release the air so the lung could open up again. So when he did that, I said, that's fine. I gave them consent. They did it. It worked. They said everything was fine. And he was stable again. Um, he was, uh, he was at the hospital that I worked in for eight, nine days. Yeah, I think for like nine days, that nice day, which was, it was April eighth. It was a Wednesday. Um, the doctor called me at 10 in the morning, and they told me to put an office to the unit, I will go downstairs, I was going to work every day. And I set the pot when I so when Freddie got in the hospital, that son, you know, I went to work that finally Monday, the 29th, at the after he got intubated. I was at work. And my boss told me that I should test because I cut I had a cough. And since I have fever prior, you know, the week prior, and I still had a cough. He was like, you know, they were doing they were testing all the employees for COVID. So when I when I got tested, I didn't get tested that Monday, the Tuesday, which was April 1, I think it was I got tested, and I came back I can't it came back positive that I had COVID also. So he was telling me about wanting to stay home, but I didn't want to stay home because, you know, it was in the hospital that I was working out. So I that was the only way that I could be able to go see him. Because they weren't having any visitors in the hospital. They already had like, shut down the hospitals. And, you know, no one could go see the loved ones. And even though like he was an ICU unit, I could just go downstairs and just like I couldn't go in his room, but I could access to the doctors and the nurses and you're not gonna check on him more. So I was working that first week. And the Yeah, I was it was it was very emotionally draining, emotionally draining that so that week, the week of April 8, that's April 8, is when they called me downstairs and they showed me hit that has done collapse again. Now his lungs that collapse again, they had to put another chest tube in. So they were fine. And they showed me a picture his lungs, if your X ray, his lungs were all white. Now the whole longest of both lungs were all white out. So he went into um, acute respiratory distress syndrome. Yeah, ar DS. And they the doctor, you know, his his blood pressure dropped, his vibe was dropped, like he was dropping, he was dying. They had a fight to get him on a bit because the ventilator he was on. Since the hospital was so full. He was on a portable ventilator, that that was poured over to the hospital, he wasn't there on a regular ventilator. So like the doctor that was taking care of him she was fighting to get you know, she got him a regular ventilator that helped him out a little bit, but you know, stabilizing him, his oxygen levels were down in the 80s that are you know, this goes to 95 and 100. And they were already down in the 80s. But when they started dropping, they went down to the 70s. And then she got him stabilized that they will it was like 88 and then he was stable. But she told me she said if you want to save your husband's life, the only thing that can help them right now is people's on ECMO. And my hospital doesn't, um, they don't have the ECMO program there because, you know, I usually know what ECMO is, No, I don't. Okay, ECMO is a it's, it's an acronym for a whole nother thing. But if you look it up the ECMO circuit and that circuit alone, um, it's kind of a Machina, it's kind of similar to dialysis for the kidneys, but it's for the lungs. So it's pretty much it'll do everything that the lungs do, it will do everything for the lungs, so your lungs don't have to do anything in your lungs to just rest. So it takes the carbon dioxide out, it brings takes the blood out teens, it filters out the blood to they have an artificial lung, it goes to the lower pressure longer pulses out the carbon dioxide, goes back to the to warms up the blood and then puts it back into the body. So now your lungs are not doing it. The machines doing it for your lungs. So she said if, um, if he had any chance of making it, he has to go on that machine. She said I'm not he's not gonna make it. But she was a call whoever you need to call, you know, um, because she knows I knew a lot of the leadership people at the hospital and they call whoever you have to call do what do you have to do? We're gonna call different hospitals here. The doctors, the hospitals that have that in the machine because in New York City, a lot of doctors a lot of hospitals don't have that machine. And so it was it was Pretty much trying to find a hospital that had the machine and that once they presented the case to him to them that they were willing to take it, or the hospitals that they call did not want to take his case they denied him, because they he didn't meet criteria of getting on that machine only because he was on the ventilator for nine days. And they said that was too long for him. That was too long. And they were gonna put him on the machine because I guess apparently, so on ECMO machine, you only supposed to be on the ventilator, I think up to like, four or five days before you could get you know, past that. I don't know, you know, there's like certain criteria, you have to meet for certain things. And that was one of the criteria for the hospital. They know that the ventilator for too long. And he was on it was nine days so they didn't want to take them. I'm the medical director at the hospital. At another hospital. I knew what the CEO of the hospital because I used to, you know, we know each other from you know, my medical director, he called our because I work for Hmh is the health hospital system with the public hospitals. And he knew the people that Bellevue Hospital, and he called them because they just actually started that program that ECMO program. They just started it Oh, by Bellevue, oh, my husband was literally the second patient ECMO patient there on that machine. And they ended up having a machine. And they accepted him because you know that that my medical director corps they said, All right, well, except them not to get him transferred wasn't a whole nother story because he wasn't stable. To get transferred. His ventilate is every time the when the transportation team came, they will put them on their portable ventilator, his his oxygen levels will drop. So they couldn't do it. Because they're like we driving over there. He could go into cardiac arrest, if you know if everything jobs. So I had to I had to pull someone else that I know asking them if we could take one of our portable ventilators to try it. And we end up meeting and the meeting ended up getting transferred at 1230 midnight. So I was in the hospital the whole time. And when they finally got him stable enough that his oxygen levels they stood in the 80s, which still wasn't good, but it was it was better than what it was before. They took him I went on stage with them. I walked them all the way to the ambulance. He went to that ambulance and they started driving off. That's when I came home. I called the house I called Bellevue, like an hour later, I tried to give them time. So like to get him to receive them. And when I call them at 130 in the morning, two in the morning, they said that he was there and they still he was stabilized and come to find out when after everything that happened. I found out after he was he was already fine. But after he really woke up that when they received him he was they literally had to put him on the ECMO circuit on the transportation bed. Because he was he was dying right there. He was they said his oxygen levels were already down to 15. So they had to do everything right there to get him to bring oxygen levels up before they could even try him off the bed to put them on the on the patient bed. And then he was at Bellevue. So I was actually a little happier. He was above me because we he was at the hospital. Yeah, what what? workout? Literally, every five minutes, there was a cold blue. There was a cold blue every five to 10 minutes, there was a Code Blue. There was a call for anesthesia for respiratory therapist. So I was there really like one edge every time I would hear something like you know, there was one time when I heard that cold blue and they you know they said his unit he was in my heart job. And it was it was that data he was crashing. They were like cool blue and they said that unit I ran into my boss's office I guess there will be that I'm gonna call downstairs and you see and you know, you call them city like okay, it's not afraid of us. So just hearing that all at once. I used to hear the it goes off, like cold blue third floor. It was just it was horrible. But that working during that time while he was set up the hospital was was really bad.
Ramon Rodriguez 49:15
Really bad. I'm sure it was really chaotic. Where you were working. Yeah, yeah,
Jasmine Virola 49:19
Yeah. Yeah, it was because I you know, my coworker, she you know, she knew thathe got me my husband had Coburn, I had Cobra so she actually called out for the first two weeks and that you know, my husband was in the hospital. So it was like, my husband's in the hospital. I'm working. I'm working, they're working and that you're not even I work if I want to take off you know, now I can eat or I can be the office alone. And I get it. You know, she was scared for her family and you know, getting Cova so it was understandable and you know, she's a Why are you going to work if you have COVID I'm like, that's the only way that I thought that was so so my husband and I was able to keep myself busy. If I would have been home and I think I would have probably just had a bought more meltdowns.There what I did. But that's how I kept busy during working and I would come home and actually lean on the Lord a lot. And that gave me the peace. I think I had throughout the whole Oh dear. Oh deal with like, lean on the Lord. Because everything else, I don't even know how I got through it. I don't and I just think is just praying, praying and my girlfriend she had um, she does in Florida and her church. She had my one of my girlfriends here in New York, she called her and asked me if she called me She said, When my husband first got to the hospital, she said, you know, Jasmine, would you mind? Do you want to do a prayer? And I'm like, Yeah, let's do a prayer. So she was a friend that is a Florida and then she, you know, they called the prayer, the prayer person there. And then, you know, she said a prayer for me. And then on a Friday, and they gave us a number of prayer, a prayer for number that we could call anytime between 6am and 9pm. And you you know, whoever you get your day to prayer for you. I was recording every day faithfully every day. So they knew my whole story. They were there from day one. So every day I will call for prayer every day corporate prayer and now with Frankie and Frankie. And I think that's exactly what got me through it was prayer, the Lord, you know, he showed me things. And I always been a believer. You know, I always believed in Lord the Lord. And you know, I always prayed and, but it was a different type of belief. And like, it was actually having they actually had it, they actually have full faith and I gave gave my problems to him. Like, because I just didn't know what else to do. I didn't know what else. And that's what you know, brought me peace. I will put my you know, my worship music on and I will watch, you know, my services, and then things like that it goes with things that I was, because it wasn't much that we could I could even be on family and friends because everyone was on lockdown. So you know, no one could come over, I couldn't go to no one else. I was literally I would come home and lay on my sofa. Because I didn't edit. I refused to go to my room. I didn't go back to my room. Um, so my husband got up on the ventilator. So for the first two months, I didn't see him. And my button was in my, I don't know, I just I felt like he's there suffering. Why should I be comfortable laying on my bed on monitors in the hospital suffering. So, you know, I'm like, asleep on the sofa. I know, it's not the most comfortable, but I felt like I don't know, I just felt like going to the room. I couldn't do it. So I literally slept in the living room for the first two months on my cell phone. And my son, my son, thank God, he's, he's awesome. He didn't you know, he, he understood what was going on. Um, and it was hard for him because now you know, now he's working. You know, he's doing, he's been home school and there's something new also. So you know, he will get up in the morning. You know, he's there. He stood in the room, he didn't bother me, I would go check on him check his work. And every now and then, but he the PlayStation helped him out because he was like, Oh, no, always talking to friends online and things like that. So that kept him busy. And usually I hate that he's like on the PlayStation all day. But during that time, I was just like, if this is what's going to keep him busy, you know, he's going through a lot. It's it's a lot that everyone's going through your your father's in the hospital. Now you've been homeschooled. And you this is there was a senior here he was supposed to be you know, he graduated from junior high school. And those that, you know, all those things were taken away that he was supposed to be doing. So it was just a lot emotionally and you know, I have a great group of girlfriends that we like include sexes, and they were, they were awesome. Like all my friends and my family. Like they were constantly reaching out. You know, we were doing like zoom meetings, just, you know, talk game and so everyone was pleased. So I think the support system I had really, really helped me out. I had a great support system. And I you know, to this day, I still do.
Ramon Rodriguez 54:05
And your girlfriends were their lives affected by COVID as well, significantly?
Jasmine Virola 54:12
Yeah. So one of my best friend Actually, she worked we work at the samehospital, we actually work two doors apart. And she she ended up having COVID um, her husband and he works at the hospital. He had COVID awesome, but it didn't affect the most bad things. God, um, I think it affected everyone. You know, especially when, when Freddie got sick, you know, Freddie that ready to close with everyone. He's really close. Like, everyone loves him. He's very sociable. He has a good relationship. All my friends, their husbands. So when it hits free like that, it really hit home. It really hit home. And, you know, it was it was a lot like my girls like a lot. You know, they were crying. It was They will, you know, everyone felt that the way I felt that I feel, you know, they say they felt my pain and they felt the pain, you know, just going for it. And you know, they just couldn't believe what we were going through. Um, so I think it was just us, it was three or four of us that got COVID. So it was me, my husband, my best friend, my husband, and then my heart, she actually was in the hospital, she didn't get tested, but she did have some symptoms, like she just had, like, lost her smell and taste. But she didn't get tested. But when she didn't have antibodies, it showed that she had antibodies, which I was selling her she had it, she had the symptoms, but, um, what it did do, though, he bought everyone closer to the Lord. Or when I tell you, I don't think all my friends and everyone that loves that knows us and loves us. They even on Freddie's family, like his brother and everyone, it really, I felt like the Lord was trying to teach us a lesson, like in the sense of everyone was just living like to carelessly to freely and not really, you know, like, focusing on him. And that changed a lot. That changed a lot like my, you know, a lot of people, they pray more, they have more belief, they literally saw the miracles of what he did. And from the experiences that I had from the Lord, like, you know, I would tell them that oh, my God, this is what happened. And, and it was no way to, you know, it was fun to take the miracles that happened was from him. So I'd say that, that that was the severe experience, to experience those type of things. They, well, you know, what he's done for us. And then he actually showed us a miracle and Freddie's a miracle because even the doctors don't even believe housing theory.
Ramon Rodriguez 56:52
Earlier, when you were talking about your mom passing away, you mentioned howyou'd kind of adopted this mentality of expecting, you know, the worst to kind of be around the corner. And then, you know, when your dad passed away, you know, that you kind of became, you kind of recognize that a little bit more yourself where that came from. And now here, wow, with your faith, how does that reconcile?
Jasmine Virola 57:15
I mean, you know, and it made it easier because I have my neck, I said, Myneighbors, you, um, she was like, my second mom, they call my mom, friend, she was always there for me. Um, so when, well, my dad, I think I knew he was dying because he had pancreatic cancer, you know, so, I guess I was kind of more like, death happens, because I already experienced so much a loss. But my mom, you know, and then my cousin, you know, my cook, one of my close cousins, her has her son had cancer, he, you know, he died at five years old while he was in Florida together and, you know, trying to be there that I was always like that. I'm like, the go to person, like the strong person always trying to like, Don't worry, okay, we're gonna be okay. And you know, that type of person. And, you know, things happen for a reason, you know, that that was always my mentality. Also, you know, but dealing with certain things like that. So when my dad that, you know, when my dad got sick, you know, I was upset about it, but I'm like, okay, you know, this is what I like, this is what happens. Unfortunately, um, you know, what my so my, my neighbor, the one that that say, she's like, my second mom, no, my mom died when I was sick. I said, 16 going on 17 she stepped in there, and my neighbor actually got sick. And all in on July in last year 2019. But July for the beginning of July, she got sick, she ended up going to the hospital on July 4, and I went to the hospital she ended up young she end up having a pneumonia in that same thing that turned into a RBS where my husband had and, you know, event, you know, she was on the ventilator for five weeks to end up autonomy passing on August 14 genda passing away, and that was really hard for me because, I mean, it was very close. But you know, she was in my, you know, she helped me with everything. You know, when it came to cooking, you know, a lot of things you know, she will help me she was my neighbor. You know, so like, we did a lot of things together, we would go to the store we would ignore when I was raising my son, my son calls our Grandma, you know, she was always in her house. She you know, she helped me with raising my son. So you know, when she died, I was just like, that was that was very hard on me, because that's that was like a second mother and actually spend more time with her than I did actually have more time with her than I did with my actual mom. My mom died when I was only 16 years old. My mom now well, her I had my my first 16 years and then now I had a whole 20 years later with her and she ended up passing away, which was August 14 of last year. When my husband got sick. It was just like I just I I questioned it. I questioned that. I was like, I just, I felt like I couldn't take anymore. That, like, I just felt like I actually tried, like, I refused, and I just couldn't take it anymore. I was just like, you know, I just don't like how much can you give someone to handle, you know, like, you know, all the people that all my loved ones are not here. And, you know, they just I was just like, you know, please don't take like I beg and plead and beg, just have to take my husband, you know, which is they just feel they, you know, my mom took my mom was in here, my dad's not here, my, by my second mom's not here now she just had passed away. And it wasn't even, it was only six months late, it was like, it was like almost six, seven months, and she just had passed away. Now my husband's not fighting for his life. So it wasn't even a year yet. So it was it was a lot emotionally dealing with that because I was still you know, dealing with her death. And then now my husband's sick. And you know, there's a there's a possibility that he's not going to make it. And that's the way it was looking. So at that moment, that's when that, that that mindset of, of, you know, death happens. And it's you know, it's quite a life. And that's when that was just like, you know, it's just not fair. Like, I just felt it wasn't fair for me. And so, you know, those are things that I did question and I prayed about it, and I questioned the Lord and, you know, but again, like I said, the things that I pray for the things that I when I spoke to him, you know, he did ask me in different ways, and I serve it, it's so it was, it was surreal. And so when I knew he was with me, like I'm like, Okay, he's with me. I don't know, just I just felt like everything was going to be okay. Did your I didn't have that? Yeah. The way I had the fear before.
Ramon Rodriguez 1:01:47
Your, your son and your husband have they kind of had I guess religiousawakenings, you know, in the midst of all this or?
Jasmine Virola 1:01:57
Yeah, so I my son, I have prayed with me, I will have him come pray with mebecause every night I say I will do a prayer. I will call for prayer and he will come pray with me. And you know, there wasn't there was at one point he was having bad dreams for like a week. And all the dreams that he would tell me about his dreams. It was it was a it was the dreams to have it was more like everything that he was going through. So I guess it was that he had a G make you know, he was we were at the beach or the boardwalk and like they were like five tornadoes coming towards us. And you know, and then you know, it was just like the genius was having and I'm making these things because you're going through these these, this is what you're going through in life. So your life is out of control right now. Maybe that's that's why you have any secret the dreams were they It was scary. Jim was like, you know, like I said the five tornadoes at one time coming towards us. And then another junior high. We were like he was at a Trump theme park. And everyone liked it. He said I was dead and I left him alone. And they and then everyone was whispering Oh, he died he died in my you know my husband. I mean, my son called me Tony. I was telling him grab your keys and just run run run I was selling something maybe you just really anxious and you know so these were he had those bad dreams. I spoke to what do you know the Brunel CT prayer line. And I told him what religion they were having. They gave me a prayer for him to see the work, you know, obviously to pray for him was one of the songs. And I was it pray with him every night and they actually worked for him and he didn't have bad dreams anymore. So you know, he knew what the Lord could do. My husband knows. You know, the thing is that with him I guess when you like your he was in a coma for a time he doesn't know what we went through what it was like, you know, and everything that he's been through, like he's been through a lot. So he does know he has a second he feels that he that the Lord gave me a second chance. I got a second chance. I like he's not as I guess. He believes but I guess not the way we do. Because we we saw it firsthand what it was, what what was happening and what, but what the Lord could do when you have faith and so you know, when you put the medical work is and everything, just everything worked out. But um, I mean, he does believe but I don't know, I think for the most part, he feels more appreciative of life. I know we had this conversation the other day because I have a fear. He like you know, you can this like that. I'm just like, no, because I have I have you get sick again. If I get sick and things like that, you know, the Lord gave me a second chance. Why? You know, you can't you can't live like that you can live in fear. And that's, that's actually that's one of my main problems now. Just live in Nashville. Keen again. Like I had the mentality from before. Something's gonna learn anything I see with this whole overthinking COVID you know, if the second wave comes back to New York, you know, as the way it was in March and April is really bad. And I know that's the way Texas is now, I don't know. You know, I heard Texas is one of the hot states now. Especially Where are you at now? right at your Austin?
Ramon Rodriguez 1:05:14
Yeah, I've got a few cases. I don't think it's anything like I was in New York, though.
Jasmine Virola 1:05:18
Oh, no. Okay, well, yeah, that's what I thought that they were saying, like, Iheard like sexes and like Florida and California, like they were, you know, their, their cases where they case as well. So, that's, that's one of my like, just, I'm still thinking about March and April and May. So those just going back to those months, it's just kind of hard to get back to regular life. Like, I'm used to, like, you know, just regular life, you know, I haven't met right now, my, my husband came at the hospital, I haven't been at work, I was sick. FMLA. And now I just thought of working from home last week. But um, September, I suppose to actually go back to the hospital. So that's been bothering me a little bit something and I go, I reckon the hospital that come home, how about I bring something? So these are just things that that's things that I think of all the time, and then my mind just starts again, going, starts running? And yeah.
Ramon Rodriguez 1:06:11
So what would what was going on towards the end of his intubation with, youknow, him coming out of it? And then him coming back home? What was? Can you walk me through what that was like for you?
Jasmine Virola 1:06:24
Oh, well, he was on the ECMO machine. Once we hit me, it was like, again, I waslike, Alright, this is what what are we doing? Like, what what's going on? This is things that I was praying about, like, what's gonna happen, like, I just felt like, I was in a storm. And there was no end to the storm. I was just stuck in the middle of the storm. And there was no rainbow at the end of the storm. And I, you know, that was one day, I'm like, What am I doing? What's gonna happen to him. So he will have every, you know, every day in the ICU is, everything's a different day there every minute to different, you literally have to take it minute by minute. I see one minute, they could be doing fine. And the next, you know, things gonna happen. And that was Freddie's journey he had, so he had to get emergency surgery, he had to get more chest to see when it's a septic shock. It was he went through a lot. And, um, so when he was on the ECMO machine, it was more or less dumb, was trying to get him off ECMO. And the only way he could get off ECMO, his lungs were switched could start on getting rid of the carbon dioxide and his lungs, were reducing his lungs were and getting rid of it. And when they finally started getting rid of it, they, they they took the time, they were like, you know, they want to take him off. Because the more that you have to form an object in your body, the more prone you are to infection and things like that. And so on May 12, they called me and he was they would take me removing the ECMO machine. And they actually because I was on the phone the whole time when they were doing it, because I know one of the nurses that work in the hospital. So she was there in the room, you know, at the room at the window, and she was like showing me every show me the recording while they were removing the ECMO. So that was a really big, like a really big thing at the hospital was to get him off that machine. And once he did, it was just like, you know, he was stabilized, he was good to put down he was still on the ventilator. So that was the next issue. Um, again, they still didn't think he was going to make it. You know, they was still telling me, my friend that works in the nurse, you know, she's one of the directors there. And they were telling them like, you know, maybe you should talk to Jasmine, I don't think she understands, you know, they will, they will call me every day to give me updates. But they will always make sure to tell me But remember, he's critically ill. He's critically, I'm like, I know. And I guess they don't think I understood the cigarettes together, you know how bad he was, but I know what he I know what it was. I just have faith that everything was going to be okay. And that, that end of me, you know, I know they will, they will pay him with his ventilator settings, they you know, they will put it down CIE, you know, if you can handle it, if you can, they'll pick up and down, up and down. So the last time when that that labor that Memorial Day weekend, I'm always on the weekends is hard to the hospital for you. Because like you got different staff. It's not a lot of staff there. So I will call them like, you know, what's the update on Friday. So that's Sunday, Memorial Day was Monday, so that's Sunday before Memorial Day, I was at my cousin's house. She was having a little barbecue there. tharwa house and um, she, the doctor and the quality and then in the evening, I got seven, eight. I didn't know Freddie's doing good. Everything's good. Like, you know, we took them off the bench and made them like, why do they care? We took them off the ventilator and they were like, he was very like, nonchalant about it. I'm like, What do you mean, take him off the ventilator? Yeah, he's doing good. He's, he's breathing. You know, they were reducing your sedation because they show a lot of different separate drips. So they were very they were doing this things, you know, to start getting him ready. Um, he got off that sedation. I mean, they took him off the ventilator. But he was, um, they would just give him oxygen every now and then just to make sure that he was good. That that would that follow me week. They they called me and they were like that Monday morning, my my my nose friend, she called me that that Monday following Monday, she called me she was like jasmine, she's like, Friday. Like, what do you mean, she's like, he's up, he woke up and he's asking where he's at, and why he's there. So you know, he had to trick the radian. They have to Tibet into his mouth, you have to treat them with a wooden pipe. And, um, yeah, and then he got up and the doctors couldn't explain that he told me, I they actually thought that, um, they did lab work to check his oxygen levels to his blood gas. And when the blood levels came back, they were doubled than what they were that they've the night before. So they actually thought it was someone else's work. So they said the back they did more blood work on him, it came back the same. He couldn't believe how his oxygen levels doubled from one day to the next. And now Freddy wasn't on no oxygen. Now, he wasn't on anything. And he was up. And from there, he just progress. They couldn't believe it.
Ramon Rodriguez 1:11:21
And so, so when did they finally move him out?
Jasmine Virola 1:11:28
June 18. Okay, he went a little bit more into the rehab. And why you ask for therehab center. They say he's gonna be there for a few weeks, you know, he was there one week, and they let him go. They couldn't believe how, you know, he was he was doing. He was, you know, going to the bathroom. He was he was brushing his teeth on his own, he was able to tie this thing because on his own, get dressed on his own, he would walk but he would get out of breath. But you know, just stop, take a second. But since he was doing basic things that he could do home, they could you know, this, you know, he just needed help, right? Cook, you know, making food, preparing food, things like that. But for the most part, there was no reason for him to stay there. And they were like, We don't want to keep him here. He could just do they both have the therapist come to your house. So he was there. Um, I'm sorry. He left the hospital on June 9, he left the hospital? No, June 12, I believe. Anyway, he was only there for a week, June 18 is when he came home here. He was only in the hospital for one week. And what was that homecoming like for him. Um, so when he actually left the hospital, they had a hole. I don't know, if you probably don't have that I could send you the link of because he and he did a video. And I have video also of when he left the hospital. So for everyone from the unit, the CEO of the hospital or downstairs would like signs and clapping and cheering for him. And it was it was it was great. It was okay, one was so happy that he made it you know. And even during that time, they Me and my friends we got together and we made like care packages for the hospital for the doctors and the nurses and everyone that they secure him. We make these care packages. And we had vendors that donated to us and we make bags and hats and that's that team Freddie on it. And, and wine bottles and Starbucks cards and T shirts and cups. And we just made them make these nice care packages. And they was so thankful for it. And we're just saying, we'll just thankful thank thanking them for, you know, taking care of my husband. And you know, a lot of them, you know, they all had the same accident. They, you know, the way you feeling because he's up and that's the way we feel, you know, our goal is to save lives, and we get to save his life. You know, they're just as excited and just as happy, you know, as I am. So they had this big goal away when he left the hospital. They had a big going away party, you know, you know, exit for him. And when he left out, let me know when he got to NYU. It was quiet. Like when we left I just mean to him and my son, I went to go pick him up. We came home I had a few people don't see a couple new people that was downstairs in front of my building. My cousin and two of my friends went to see him and he came became a Squire making what we didn't have like nothing, no party, you know, we'd have no people there because I didn't want people around him. I was like I don't want no one around going Oh, like Don't touch him. Don't give him nothing you think don't hug them. I don't want no one's germs on him.
Ramon Rodriguez 1:14:42
What were your first few interactions with him like you know when he came out ofwhen he came out of it?
Jasmine Virola 1:14:49
Oh, it was amazing. I you know, I was having interactions with him even beforehe was awake because I had access to the hospital and they were letting me Go to his room. So I will just have to like, put all my PPE in, and I will go to his room and just pay music for him and talk to him and I pray with, you know, pray over him. And we're finally when he got up and then you know you didn't he didn't understand what was going on. He didn't realize like, how long he was there. You know, he was telling me He's like, Oh, I'm sorry, I'm gonna miss your birthday. I'm like, babe, my birthday passed already. He's like, What do you mean? He said, Where are we? And I'm like, we in June. He was like, What if he couldn't believe it? You know, the last thing you remember it was right after his birthday was in March. You know? And then now you waking up. And now you think people tell you that now it's June. So he didn't realize like the last two months in his life where he don't know anything about it. He doesn't remember anything at all. Some, sometimes people will have dreams, I think in comas, he didn't even remember any of those. No, he said he did have a dream. But what's his dream and he kept on having that he was in water. And he kept on saying he was in water. He was in water. And he was like, reaching in the water for things. It just like, it was like money in the water. He was like trying to grab the bags. And he said, but everything was just he was in water. And he said when he you know, when he first got up, he thought he was there because I thought I got shocked. He was but he saw you there. But why wouldn't I get shocked for it? You know, he's like, why would I be here for getting a shot? And he couldn't believe it. And then you know, he didn't really he didn't realize why he was there. He didn't know right, he was there from March, because from COVID, he didn't realize it was fourth April for that time. So that was a little you know, trying to get him to see, you know, his his mental status at that time. He was actually it was very good for what they thought it was going to be. But, you know, it was a lot of confusion because he didn't know what was going on, you know, and then you waking up now you have this trade here. And you can't even talk because now you have to trade there. He had, you know, a feeding tube in his nose. He had to trade you know, he had on your central line. And you know, he just had a lot he still had, you know, other things going on, you know in advance IV and so that was just like wicked up for you. I woke up I guess in a panic, but that was one of the gypsies kept telling me he had multitasking all the time. That it was it was um, he was in water.
Ramon Rodriguez 1:17:19
And so having him back, what's your day to day life been? Like, you know, as youkind of ease back into it, and what's his progress been like?
Jasmine Virola 1:17:30
Um, okay, um, his progress, you know what he is doing? Great. He is doing great.And the only reason why I know he's so easily made because he has the motivation and he's determined to be to, you know, to get better. He's so determined, you know, he lost a lot of weight while he was in the hospital. You know, he was you know, and he was muscular you that kilos on his muscles and everything. So he went, he lost like 30 pounds, he came up the hospital that guy 124 125 that's, like, puny for him. Um, he's, he's been very determined, very determined, you know, he's been doing he does physical therapy, occupational therapy, only thing, he has a problem, His hands are still contracted. So his hands are like, you know, his Pinky, if you like this, you can't open them. And so that's the only thing that's bothering him the most is that that he can't use his hands are still contracted. But, you know, I tell him is only been a month and a half and just, you know, we're going to be we went to doctors, and you know, eventually they didn't end up sending you products like the hand a hand doctor and make you know, check it out. See what's going on by white fingers are not opening. But um, he's been doing really good, really, really good from when he first came home to now. You know, now he's, he's walking 30 minutes on the treadmill. And he's doing you know, you know, 15 pound weights now before he started off with two pounds. Now he's going to pound weights and he's, you know, he's, he's, he's good. He's very motivated. And I think that's, that's the key if you're not motivated enough, determined, you're not going to get better. And that's why I see a lot of people are people don't get better and things like that, because they don't take the initiative and get up baby. He has a whole routine. He gets up in the morning. He suspects and he gets once he finishes, you know, breakfast, he raises his food and he started therapy, physical therapy and he gets therapy outside twice a week, but within the days that he's not getting therapy outside he's doing it here he's doing at home is not just relaxing on his own, like, you know, taking the days off because he's not going when he's not there. He's doing it here. So you know, he's making sure that he's getting better. So it's he's been home a month and a half and he has shown so much improvement like right now. You know, I some a couple weeks ago. I think it's you know, what, what would you give you how much how do you feel between zero and one 100% Wait, what would you consider that two weeks ago? He said he was at 40%. This week, and he said he's at 60%. Without my 60 he was over, I'm gonna get determined to get so they, you know, had that hundred percent.
Ramon Rodriguez 1:20:17
And what is his outlook like on the future? It seems like he's really motivated.But I mean, there's like an enormous, he's not working right now. Right? Well, what was he doing before also,
Jasmine Virola 1:20:27
he works in the US working in a welding company. That's his work. Yeah, he'srecognized welding companies actually sucks because his company is going out of business soon. The company that he was working, yeah, they went out of business. So that's not a place he's gonna end up going back to-
Ramon Rodriguez 1:20:41
is that is that COVID? related as well?
Jasmine Virola 1:20:45
-I'm closing. Um,yes. And no, I guess it was more like, the company that thework is it's a small company, and the workers didn't like the way the boss handled the situation doing COVID. And so they thought out appreciative, and then people ended up leaving so and his wife is just like, you know what, she doesn't matter how she said, he could just retire, they don't need to have a company. I mean, so it was pretty much it happened. Because the COVID, if you wouldn't mind probably read about the situation differently. The employees would have said, but employees actually ended up leaving. So the only downside to employees. So two employees, you can't do much. So I invite now, so that, what I foresee for him happening, I don't know, I guess we'll cross that bridge when we get there. Right now I'm just wanting to get to where he needs to get to 100%. Um, see, make sure that his hands could get fixed. So that's like a main thing if he needs, he's always done manually. So it was like, not he uses his hands a lot of times right now, he can't pick up these times a week as a thing as a contract it, it's hard for him to do you know, to pick up the needle, even to like, open like a bottle of water or things like that, you know, he can't really he can't close the time to do it. So that I don't know how that's gonna work now in the future. So that's, I guess, we're taking it day by day. Yeah, I'm taking it day by day. Because it does that think about it makes me anxious.
Ramon Rodriguez 1:22:15
Yeah, right. Is there is there kind of like, healthcare financial strain aspectto this at all?
Jasmine Virola 1:22:23
Um, well, but how can I do actually have actually been receiving bills, so Ihave to call and see, you know, what the bills, but um, you know, what's going on? Um, I thought that my insurance at first, my insurance, they had a 95 five, I'll cover 95% they cover the phone? And I mean, they cover 95% I got to cover the five. But for the COVID they said they were going to cover everything. As if it was COVID related, but I did I have been receiving bills. Um, so that I don't understand that that's not to call them or my surance company. I haven't dealt with them yet, because I'm still working with him. But that's something Yeah, I've been receiving. I've been receiving both. So I have to work on that as well.
Ramon Rodriguez 1:23:04
Just because we didn't talk about it earlier. Uh, can you tell me a little bitabout meeting your husband, then, you know, your journey up to here and also just had, do you feel like this has really strengthened deals relationship? And
Jasmine Virola 1:23:17
I believe so. I believe so. I think he has more, I think he has a more of abetter appreciation for me, because he has Angel. She says I'm this angel. Because it honestly I fought for him. For him to make sure that you know, they take care of him. And again, it was just I the way people were losing their lives. If I didn't work there, or you know, it could have went different because I was making I was quoting whoever I was begging, like you need to tell my husband that you know, I need help I need this done. I need to I need to get this and so they were everyone was like they were great with me where I work at and even at the other hospital. They were great for me and and so he definitely he caused the creases on his angel. He called that I saved his life at some I didn't save it I help other people put you up the Lord puts in positions for certain reasons. And maybe this is why I was working where I'm at now. Because even when it before I got that job. I didn't get that position. I apply for it. I end up getting it two years later, I've actually end up getting it getting it. And within that timeframe, I was looking for other jobs and because I was really trying to get off on where I was that and like I couldn't find the job for the life of me for those two years. I was going to interviews and that like I felt stuck where I was working on and then finally my boss called me told me the position was still available if I would want to work you know, come work on my kitchen. And it worked out because it's like if I was never would have been working in knowing the people that I know and he he would have never been down. He would never been here right now. So when I met him, I was 15. And when I met him, he was 17. Because we were like, at a party, back to school jam, we had went to and he, we had mutual friends, I didn't know him personally, we have the end up having my best friend, you know, she knew him and the girl that she used a guy with. And so, you know, that's how PV met, he saw me, he liked me, he asked them, like, for my age, I was okay to get my number. So that was like how it started, he got my number, and he will call the house phone and lubic on the phone or night, you know, you guys fall asleep on the phone, and he will come over and hang out with me, my mom, you know, he, you know, at the house, even my mom and things like that. And we were always together all the time, all the time, make the reward the time. And we were only together maybe, like a year and a half before my mom died. And when that happened, he was like, there with me, like, you know, throughout everything Ghana key was like getting into arguments of my art, you know, the Monday when they called the cops here. Like they, you know, it was just like a lie. He was like, you know, I'll take us and she'll come live with me in my house and his mom. But um, that's that. That was pretty much it if he was together. And then he, he moved in my apartment, maybe like a year later. Because I feel like my mama he didn't move in, by the way that he will come over and we'll hang out with means they'll stay over every now and then. But he didn't make officially move in. Maybe it's like a year later. But especially within it's been like better than we make 23 years now, in August.
Ramon Rodriguez 1:26:54
How old is your son?
Jasmine Virola 1:26:55
Ramon Rodriguez 1:27:00
Well, um, I think I think we're about ready to wrap up. Is there anything thatwe haven't touched on that you'd like to talk about?
Jasmine Virola 1:27:11
Um, no, I just felt like, like, you know, like, I say, I was sending like,Evelyn and she is she introduced me to, um, oh, my god forgot her name. Maggie, Maggie. Yeah. And, you know, we were just talking, you know, was talking about how how people forget, like, when they people forget, like, when they come when the patients come home. Like, there's like, it's not over, like, you know, they still have a whole new journey of recovery, even emotionally, emotionally, mentally is a lot for him, you know, there was a first came home, you know, constantly crying and just, you know, just going through a lot of things and just, like, want people to know that, once they come home doesn't mean that, okay, they've home that good if they, you know, there's still a lot of complications, you know, mentally, mentally, emotionally, physically. It takes a lot on the person on him on you know, on on me going through everything was him and seeing what he's been through and even how it affects everyone around you. You know, people don't realize how everything affects you. And I just I feel like people forget. And like everything that he's been through, he's like, literally a miracle story to get it use it. If I give a show people like a doctor his case that even when he went to NYU, they were like, wow, we can believe that. You know, you've been through a lot every time you meet someone they know whose case it could be that he's he's here. And I just felt like I was telling I'm having to make you know, people don't talk about you know, a lot of things that happen within like, you know, communities like the miracles in the Latino communities, but you hear about them all over the place. Um, unfortunately, like, you know, you have it on TV, but you don't hear about them on on about the things that happen in urban communities how how he almost lost his life or how our affects us here. But you know, those type of things and just like to get his story out there and just know that you know who it is view and people don't take it seriously. It's amazing.
Ramon Rodriguez 1:29:03
Well, Jasmine, thank you so much for your time.
Jasmine Virola 1:29:05
Thank you. Thank you.