Family delays Christmas, comes together for Arizona triage nurse as she battles COVID-19

She is the front line to front line workers amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, but Michelle Barron has been battling COVID-19 for weeks.

Amid this battle of her life, Barron's family is putting everything on hold for her.

Christmas delayed for ‘Nana’

Currently, Barron is a patient at Banner Ocotillo Medical Center.

It may be January 2022, but for Barron's family, Christmas is not yet here. The family had a simple request for Santa.

Christmas is delayed for Barron, a grandmother of five who worked for years as an Emergency Room nurse at Banner Gateway Medical Center.

"There is nothing else that she would want to do other than being a nurse. She just likes helping people," said Barron's daughter, Veronica Barron.

When COVID-19 started tearing through Arizona in 2020, Barron stood by her oath.

"Never did she -- never ‘oh, I don’t want to work. I’m scared,’" said Veronica, who worked at the same hospital as her mother. "She was scared, but not scared enough to not help the community."

Barron now on a ventilator

Barron, who was vaccinated, contracted COVID-19 in December. From her hospital bed, she can’t talk, eat or drink. The nurse who triaged so many COVID-19 patients is now facing the disease head on. It was a risk she accepted every day.

As Barron remains on a ventilator, the grandkids who love her draw pictures and cards.

"Good days and bad days. I would say more good days than bad days, though," said Veronica. "We really just try to look at the positive, because in a situation where you have no idea how it’s going to end, you have to only think about the positive."

Daughter quits job to be with Barron

A week ago, Veronica quit her job, as she ran out of time off and did not want to leave her mother's side.

Officials with Banner Health, however, say they cannot comment on specific cases, but did say they have made it a priority to care for COVID-19 positive patients with multiple ways to access paid time off, as well as a $1,000 per-person fund for staff members who have been hospitalized.

(Click here for GoFundMe)

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COVID-19 symptoms

Symptoms for coronavirus COVID-19 include fever, coughing, and shortness of breath. These, of course, are similar to the common cold and flu. 

Expect a common cold to start out with a sore or scratchy throat, cough, runny and/or stuffy nose. Flu symptoms are more intense and usually come on suddenly, and can include a high fever. 

Symptoms of COVID-19 may appear more slowly. They usually include fever, a dry cough and noticeable shortness of breath, according to the World Health Organization. A minority of cases develop pneumonia, and the disease is especially worrisome for the elderly and those with other medical problems such as high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes or heart conditions.

RELATED: Is it the flu, a cold or COVID-19? Different viruses present similar symptoms

COVID-19 resources

CDC Website for COVID-19 (In Spanish/En Español)

AZDHS Website for COVID-19 (In Spanish/En Español)