BOSTON (CBS) — A nurse who was fighting coronavirus on the frontlines was flown to Boston this weekend after he became paralyzed due to a coronavirus-related infection. Desmon Silva, 22, was taken from Florida to the ICU at Massachusetts General Hospital by a special medical jet.
His mother, Barbara Bonnet, lives in Massachusetts. She said her son contracted the virus a few months ago and seemed to be making a full recovery.
“Devastating is an understatement. No mom, no dad, nobody should have to go through the pain we’ve gone through so far,” said Bonnet.
Silva had been working as a nurse at Largo Medical Center in Orlando. He is being treated for a rare spinal infection that left him paralyzed from the neck down, according to Bonnet. He’s been in the hospital for a week and was flown to Boston Saturday night for treatment.
“Absolutely fighting for his life,” said Bonnet. “It’s triggered through a viral infection and he did test positive for COVID a couple of months back.”
She said her son became a nurse just one year ago and was so excited to help those in need. Now he finds himself on the other side of the front line.
“I want to get out that COVID is real,” she said. “It’s the unknown. Be serious with the signs and symptoms.”
Silva’s mother, father, and stepmother are all nurses. The family firmly believes he will make a full recovery and this life-altering setback will not deter him one bit from doing what he was born to do.
“He followed in our footsteps and we are very proud of him,” said Bonnet.
Silva’s girlfriend back in Tampa, Brooke Griffin, set up a GoFundMe page for him.
“We started that because we know his care is going to be extensive and his rehab is going to probably at least be a year and that means he might not be able to work,” she told WBZ.
Griffin said Silva has a birthday coming up and not being able to be with him is “ripping me to shreds.”
“It’s very hard, especially at this age. Desmon was just, we were just starting our lives. He had just gotten his dream job. He loved his job. He loved being a nurse and helping people, just like the rest of his family.”
“The outpouring is super humbling. You know, especially in these trying times with COVID and people losing their jobs.” Bonnet said.
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