In March 2020, Olivia Moctezuma wasn’t feeling well. She developed a fever and experienced chills along with a cough and shortness of breath.
At the urging of her doctor, Olivia went to the Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital emergency department, checking in at the registration tent outside for assessment. Olivia was quickly admitted to the ICU where the diagnosis of COVID-19 was confirmed. The next day, she sent this text to her husband, Jose: “I’m sorry, my love, lots of pain and no more energy. They are going to intubate me.” Jose replied, “I love you. Get better.”
Olivia was sedated and breathing with the aid of a ventilator, for the next several weeks. “It was the scariest time of my life,” said Jose, “but knew Cottage was the best place she could be, and I kept hoping and praying.”
Though her family couldn’t visit in person, Olivia did not go through her illness alone. A team of nurses, physicians, other clinicians and support staff cared for Olivia during her lengthy hospitalization and after a few weeks, Olivia recovered and was able to finally go home.
As she left the hospital, caregivers, doctors and staff lined the hall to cheer her on.
“My healthcare team at Cottage was amazing,” Olivia said. “Words can’t describe how much I appreciate them.”