Family of an Odessa comedian shares his experience battling COVID-19

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"I love him, and we need him to come home."

ODESSA, Texas (Big 2 / Fox 24) – A mother of an Odessa man is speaking out while her son remains in recovery from COVID-19.

“I love him, and we need him to come home,” pleaded mother Brenda Capen.

Friends and family are waiting with bated breath as his road to recovery continues with no end in sight. Capen contracted COVID-19 on a work trip to Corpus Christi following a vacation home to Denver.

“You don’t expect someone who is 32 years old to decline continuously for four weeks,” explained his aunt, Wendy Prinz. “Like when does it stop? When does it turn around?”

Capen spent nearly a month at a local hospital in Corpus Christi where his health continue to decline. Towards the end of the month, his kidneys began to fail. After relying on a ventilator overnight, he was transported last Saturday to Brooks Army Hospital in San Antonio.

“The doctor said just wait it out – the symptoms will be gone in five to seven days. But everyday, it gets worse,” explained mother Brenda Capen.

In San Antonio, he was chosen to receive extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), a procedure that provides cardiac and respiratory support. His kidneys have since stabilized and according to the family, he is responding well to ECMO. Mother, Brenda Capen, says her biggest concern going forward is the reality that her son may not survive. She also worries hospitals are not doing enough.

“They didn’t test him, they called it a presumptive positive. And then they did do a test, but they wouldn’t treat him until that test result came back, which took days. Not the government – individuals are choosing a political side and then making arbitrary choices,” said Brenda Capen. “The other big worry is if he makes it, what’s the long term impact on him,” added Prinz. “Is he going to have permanent damage? Are his lungs ever going to function properly? Is he going to be back to his old Andrew?”

Due to a low hemoglobin count, doctors will attempt tracheotomy on Wednesday. If you would like to help the Capen family with Andrew’s medical bills, click here.

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