California Toddler With Coronavirus Has Been Battling for Her Life Since Before Christmas

Aliyah Cardoza

As the world remains on edge from recent outbreaks of the coronavirus, which has led to 81 deaths in China, another strain of the virus is threatening the life of a 3-year-old in California. Aliyah Cardoza of Azusa has been battling the virus since December 23, after what started as a cough and fever escalated into the coronovavirus, according to NBC News.

  • Aliyah remains intubated at Children's Hospital Los Angeles, where machines are pumping air into her lungs to keep her breathing.

    Her official diagnosis is with the NL63 strain of the coronavirus -- which isn't the one sweeping China (2019-nCoV), but belongs to the same family of viruses.

    In an interview with the Daily Mail, Aliyah's mother, Gloria Aguilera, said that doctors told her that her daughter's strain is far more common than the one proving fatal in China, which she found to be "very, very relieving." She said her child is also battling mycoplasma, an acute respiratory syndrome, and pneumonia.

    Throughout it all, Aliyah's condition has been touch and go.

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  • The toddler recently experienced a collapsed lung, and January 19, she suffered a seizure.

    "I didn't know she'd end up in this situation to where I'd have to see my daughter go through so much pain," the tearful mom told KTLA.

    Speaking in another interview with ABC 7, Aguilera sadly shared that Christmas has been on hold for the family for over a month. "She wanted a scooter and a Minnie Mouse phone," she said.

  • In December, the little girl started experiencing symptoms her mother assumed were from an onset of the flu.

    In fact, that's exactly how doctors diagnosed the toddler at first.

    "Two days after she went home with antibiotics," Aguilera said, "[and] that's when she had trouble breathing."

    The worried mother admitted her daughter into the hospital immediately after, which is where she's remained. "They listened to her lungs and they noticed that her left lung totally collapsed and that's when they took me in immediately," she recalled.

    Aguilera set up a GoFundMe account to help with finances so she can spend more time at the hospital and with her 4-year-old son. Thus far, it's raised more than $9,500, exceeding its goal.

  • Aliyah's doctors are hopeful she'll make a full recovery, though the wait has been painful for the family.

    Still, it could always be worse. 

    In China, the 2019-nCoV strain (also being called the Novel Coronavirus) has sent the nation into a virtual panic. So far, Chinese health officials have identified 830 cases, which have led to 25 deaths.

    In response, hospitals and doctors have been left scrambling to contain the virus. This week, Chinese New Year's celebrations were canceled in major cities such as Beijing, and a widespread travel ban has been imposed on the city of Wuhan to surrounding municipalities, the Washington Post reported. But quarantining a population of nearly 25 million certainly isn't easy, and neither is treating them.

  • The Chinese are frantically attempting to build a 1,000-bed hospital in just six days to house patients at the epicenter of the virus.

    The 270,000-square-foot facility will be in Wuhan, the New York Post reported, with the purpose of addressing "the insufficiency of existing medical resources,” city officials said.

    As lofty of a goal as this sounds, the country actually did something similar in Beijing 2003, during the outbreak of SARS.