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KANSAS CITY, Kan. — A local family is shocked to learn their typically healthy mom now needs a machine to breath.

Ten days ago doctors diagnosed the mother of four with COVID-19. Now, her family is getting by as best they can, and her oldest son is hoping for good news.

Brian Leal and his mom Maria Elena Leal have a special bond.

“My mom is amazing,” Brian said. “She has the best personality I could ever imagine. It amazes me as somebody you really look up to.”

Maria Elena is a single mom to 19-year-old Brian, along with his 11-year-old sister and two siblings under five.

“I just miss her,” Brian said. “You only get one of those.”

Nearly two weeks ago, 36-year-old Leal started getting sick. They thought it was allergies, but then all the symptoms of COVID-19 started to appear.

By April 17, she was hospitalized and five days later put on a ventilator.

“It’s very scary because two days ago they called me and told me her heart stopped,” Brian said. “I started — I was freaking out because I didn’t know what to do, and they told me they were able to get her oxygen back.”

Brian sends his mother messages to her Facebook account, knowing she can’t respond but hoping one day she will.

“All I want is to hear the doctors say that your mom is progressing and coming home soon,” Brian said. “It’s all I want to hear.”

Brian and his grandmother are now taking care of his three siblings. Meanwhile, Maria’s car detailing business is on hold, and her life is hanging in the balance.

“One thing my mom told me is stay strong and never give up, and that’s what I’m doing,” Brian said.

If you are able to help this family, they set up a Gofundme to assist with medical costs and taking care of the children.