Family of Odessa man speaks out as he fights for his life with COVID-19 complications


"Yesterday, he was hopeful. He said to stay positive, and I have been. I can't... I can't think about the alternative."

ODESSA, Texas (Big 2/Fox 24) – Mother of Andrew Capen is continuing to ask for a miracle as her son fights through complications due to COVID-19. The 33-year-old is fighting the clock as his doctors project a grim future without a double lung transplant.

“It has just been a nightmare. I was so happy he was on the road to recovery,” explained mother, Brenda Capen. “Hospitals won’t even look at him, and the sicker he gets, he won’t even be a candidate.”

Capen contracted the virus on a work trip back in August. He is currently receiving extracorporeal membrane oxygenation — a procedure that provides cardiac and respiratory support.

“We need prayers for Andrew to have hope, we need prayers that Andrew can improve his health, we need a hospital that will take him,” said aunt, Wendy Prinz. “I mean, there’s every angle. We need prayers. We need insurance. Just… doors need to be opened.”

The family is doing all they can to get him on the waiting list, but they say there are way too many road blocks.

“Unfortunately, one of the criteria is he has to be insured. Medicare — he is not eligible for until two years after his disability. Medicaid has been submitted, and that process takes forever. And because Andrew was uninsured, purchasing something on the Affordable Care Act had to wait for open enrollment. And even then, coverage doesn’t happen until January 1.”

Mother Brenda says the federal government’s CARES Act is not doing enough for uninsured patients like her son.

“My son is fighting for his life waiting for someone to approve some kind of funding, because nobody will use it. $75 billion are right there. Does it make sense that hospitals won’t use it?”

The Capen family is asking for prayers and for a hospital to give him a fighting chance.

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Current status of COVID-19 testing in San Angelo