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While the height of COVID-19 pandemic put unbelievable pressures on hospitals and health care workers nationwide, there’s no excuse for what was witnessed at this hospital in California.

A family is suing a hospital in Santa Ana after they allegedly found maggots coming out of their mother’s nose and mouth while she was still alive. 

Concepcion Covarrubias, who was 65 years-old, contracted COVID-19 last summer and battled the virus at Santa Ana’s South Coast Global Medical Center. Her children, Carolina, Carlos and Manuel Mijango say they did everything in their power to ensure that their mother recovered. 

Their efforts worked. At the end of July, their mother tested negative for COVID-19. Although her children requested that she be transferred to a rehab center, their request was denied. 

In the weeks following her recovery from COVID-19, Covarrubias’s health deteriorated, despite no longer having the virus. 

Covarrubias’s infection levels were rising and she was getting more and more sick. But hospital staff assured her children that they were taking great care of the 65-year-old.  “It felt like a betrayal to that trust because they kept telling me, ‘She’s OK. She’s gonna be OK. We’re giving her the utmost care,’” said Covarrubias’s daughter, Carolina Mijango, to KABC News

To make matters worse, Covarrubias’s living conditions in her “makeshift” hospital room shocked and appalled her children. “That to me was not acceptable. Not in America. Not these kinds of hospitals,” her son, Carlos Mijango told KABC News

Covarrubias’s mistreatment was reaffirmed when her children found maggots crawling out of her mouth and nose one day while visiting her, and she was still alive. 

When Manuel Mijango went to visit his mother in the hospital, he saw that she was in deep pain and he knew that she was “not okay at all.” His sister, Carolina Mijango, was on a video call with them when she saw Manuel reacting to maggots crawling from his mother’s nose. The children have photos, videos and hospital records to prove it. 

In one hospital record, a nurse wrote that “two or possibly three dozen maggots started coming out of the patient’s right nares.”

A few days later, on August 21, 2020, Concepcion Covarrubias died. 

Covarrubias’ children are suing Santa Ana’s South Coast Global Medical Center for “elder abuse, negligence and wrongful death.” The hospital is refusing to comment while litigation is pending.

As of now, Covarrubias’ children are dealing with both the grief of losing their beloved mother whom they lost too soon, as well as anger towards the hospital that could have caused her death.

“I wouldn’t want anybody else to go through the same thing,” Carolina Mijango told KABC News through tears. “To be such strong advocates and at the end to feel so betrayed.”