Teen who survived COVID-19 wants to become nurse to help others

Reporter: Andrea Guerrero Writer: Melissa Montoya
Published: Updated:
Chantel Salas survived COVID-19 and is now planning to become a nurse after finding inspiration from those who helped her. (CREDIT: WINK News)

A teen who spent two months in the hospital with COVID-19 is well on her way to giving back.

Chantel Salas, who was 17 at the time, overcame the odds and now, feels inspired by those who helped her. The COVID survivor plans to become a nurse in order to help people the way her nurses helped her.

In May of 2020, Chantel tested positive for COVID-19. Five days after her result, she was taken to the hospital panicking her mother.

“Is she going to be OK? They were like we’re going to do our best, that’s all they could tell me,” said Erika Salas, Chantel’s mom.

Erika said she didn’t know what she could do but pray.

“That’s all I could do is just pray for her,” Erika said.

Chantel said she doesn’t remember anything from her time in the hospital.

In all, she spent 50 days fighting the virus.

At one point her lungs stopped working properly so doctors put her on an ECMO machine, which takes the place of the lungs, giving doctors time to treat the virus.

“It was scary, but she pulled through and she’s here,” Erika said. “She’s a blessing.”

Now, the mother and daughter say their faith and the work of the doctors at NCH healed Chantel.

“Blessed to still have her here. I tell her all the time and every time I’m with her I just hug her and always got emotional because those flashbacks come back,” Erika said.

Chantel said her fight against COVID has taught her to appreciate her life more.

“I appreciate life way more,” Chantel said.

Since Chantel’s recovery, the family has gotten closer than ever, including the nurses and doctors that treated Chantel. They are now considered their extended family.


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