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Community Rallies Around Latina Leader Who Needed A Double Lung Transplant Because Of Covid

There is still so much that we do not know about Covid-19. One of the biggest mysteries is the long term effect of the virus after people recover. One of the most common things caused by Covid is the need for lung transplants. A Latina leader in Milwaukee experienced just that.

Carmen Lerma is a beloved member of the Latino community of Milwaukee.

Lerma was diagnosed with Covid-19 in July. At the time, cases were growing across the country and we knew even less about the virus than we know now. Lerma’s Covid diagnosis led to the beloved community member needing a double lung transplant because of the viciousness of this virus.

“She is very kind. She is very loved,” fellow volunteer and friend Carmen Hernandez said of Lerma to NBC News. “I feel so bad for her situation right now. She can’t even breathe. It’s really hard for me to see her going through this when she’s such an active person.”

Months after her diagnosis, Lerma has a new pair of lungs.

Credit: Carmen Lerma / Facebook

The Covid-19 pandemic is entering a new and terrifying chapter as cases are growing around the world. Countries in Europe are implementing new restrictions to control the spread of Covid and certain states are follow suit to protect residents. Lerma is hoping that her story can help to convince people of the severity of the virus.

Lerma’s story highlights the seriousness of Covid-19 complications after surviving a diagnosis.

Lung transplants for Covid-19 patients are becoming more and more common as more people are infected with the virus. Currently, more than 8 million people in the U.S. have been diagnosed with Covid. More than 220,000 people have died and cases, which never significantly decreased, are on the rise again in most states.

Lerma is using her story to get people to care about Covid-19.

Credit: Carmen Lerma / Facebook

There has been a lot of misinformation spread about Covid that has contributed to the spikes. President Donald Trump used his own diagnosis to tell people not to worry about the virus and to get out there and live life, something health experts around the world rebuked. Even Harvard University released a study debunking the claim that certain blood types are more resistant or prone to Covid-19.

In one of the most American traditions, friends set up a GoFundMe to help cover the costs of Lerma’s medical care.

The GoFundMe page has raised more than $30,000 of the $100,000 they are hoping to raise to pay for Lerma’s medical costs. She spent months in hospitals fighting the virus that is currently devastating Wisconsin as it spreads unimpeded. Wisconsin is facing one of the worst outbreaks in the U.S. right now after a conservative judge declared Gov. Tony Evers’ restrictions to slow the spread. The state’s Republican Party is suing to reverse the mask mandate, the single strongest tool we have to battle the virus and save lives.

READ: Joe Biden Walks Away With Final Presidential Debate On Healthcare, Covid, And Many Issues

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Starbucks Karen Is Now Suing GoFundMe Creator For Invasion Of Privacy

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Starbucks Karen Is Now Suing GoFundMe Creator For Invasion Of Privacy

Amber Lynn Gilles / Facebook / mrcowan / Instagram

The pandemic was a litmus test that so many people failed. We were getting used to seeing Karens on out social media pages and the pandemic brought about so many more than we were ready to deal with. One of the most famous Amber Lynn Gilles from San Diego and she is at it again.

Amber Lynn Gilles is still upset that her video shaming a Starbucks employee backfired big time.

Last year, Gilles went to a Starbucks to order a coffee. Yet, because she was not wearing a mask, the barista, Lenin Gutierrez, refused to serve her. The employee refused to serve Gilles because she wasn’t wearing a mask, which was required because of the ongoing pandemic.

Instead of backing down, a friend of Gutierrez’s made a GoFundMe to raise money for the man who stood up to an anti-mask Karen. The GoFundMe quickly raised more than $100,000 for Gutierrez and Gilles felt entitled to some. She even threatened to sue because she was the real victim.

Gilles is claiming that she was the victim in a new lawsuit against the creator of the viral GoFundMe page.

Gilles claims that the GoFundMe was a “violation of her right to publicity,” “misappropriation of her name and likeness” and “false light invasion of privacy.” She also claims that Matt Cowan made money off of the GoFundMe page.

Cowan disputes that claim.

“All the money that was raised went to Lenin. I didn’t profit off of that at all,” Cowan told The Hill.

In a new GoFundMe page, Cowan calls out the lawsuit. In less than a week, Cowan’s GoFundMe page has raised $31,519 of the $50,000 goal.

Gilles has been successful in one thing, keeping attention on her inability to follow safety guidelines.

The latest lawsuit has caught the internet’s attention. People are donating in mass to help Cowan while Gilles original GoFundMe page is still active. So far, Gilles’ page, which has been live for months, has raised $5,750 of the $15,000 goal.

Gilles updated her GoFundMe to include a copy of the lawsuit and needs help to redress what she claims to be defamation of character. Cowan is surprised that Gilles was able to find an attorney to take the case that was filed against him and his company.

This is a developing story. We will update as the story develops.

READ: San Diego Karen Wants To Sue For Half Of Starbucks Barista’s $100K GoFundMe

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Chingona 105-Year-Old Abuela Says She Survived Spanish Flu, 3 Husbands, And COVID-19 By Eating Gin-Soaked Raisins

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Chingona 105-Year-Old Abuela Says She Survived Spanish Flu, 3 Husbands, And COVID-19 By Eating Gin-Soaked Raisins

REDA&CO / Getty

For Lucia DeClerck, nine gin-soaked raisins have kept doctors and pandemics away. The grandmother of 11 great-great-grandchildren celebrated her 105th birthday on January 25 in Mystic Meadows Rehab and Nursing Center in Little Egg Harbor, New Jersey.

That same day she was diagnosed with Covid-19.

Staff members at her nursing center say DeClerck was pretty much asymptomatic and was in the facility’s COVID-19 unit for 14 days.

Now a COVID-19 survivor, DeClerck is the oldest person at her nursing home, according to The New York Times, and has survived two pandemics. DeClerck was born in 1916 in Hawaii to parents who came from Guatemala and Spain. She was two years old and living in Hawaii when the Spanish flu broke out. Since that time, she has survived two world wars, survived three husbands, and one out of her three sons. 

“She’s just been open with everything in life and I think that has really helped her because she hasn’t hesitated to do whatever she’s wanted to do,” DeClerck’s son, Henry Laws III, told CBS Philly in an interview.

Speaking about her secret to longevity, DeClerck says it takes equal parts belief and diet.

“Pray, pray, pray. And don’t eat junk food,” she told the New York Times before going on to explain that the nine gin-soaked golden raisins she eats every morning might have helped in her survival.

According to DeClerck she has eaten the special recipe every morning for most of her life.

“Fill a jar,” she explained giving NYT her recipe. “Nine raisins a day after it sits for nine days.” The New York Times describes her diet as being a part of a ritual that her children and grandchildren chalk up to being just one in the entirety of “endearing lifelong habits, like drinking aloe juice straight from the container and brushing her teeth with baking soda. (That worked, too: She did not have a cavity until she was 99, relatives said.)”

“She is just the epitome of perseverance,” DeClerck’s 53-year-old granddaughter, Shawn Laws O’Neil explained. “Her mind is so sharp. She will remember things when I was a kid that I don’t even remember.”

Ms. DeClerck, tested positive for the virus on her 105th birthday, just one day after she had gotten her second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

“At first, she said she was scared. She did not like being isolated, and she missed the daily chatter from the parade of caregivers at Mystic Meadows Rehabilitation and Nursing, a 120-bed facility in Little Egg Harbor,” reports the New York Times. “Within two weeks she was back in her room, holding her rosary beads and wearing her trademark sunglasses and knit hat.”

According to O’Neil, DeClerck has a new nickname amongst her two surviving sons, five grandchildren, 12 great-grandchildren, and 11 great-great-grandchildren: “The 105-year-old badass who kicked Covid.”

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