North Texas father and son survive COVID-19 together

A North Texas father and son are back home recovering from a stay in the hospital after sharing a battle with COVID-19.

Robert Molina III, 37, has no underlying health conditions. Still, he developed a serious case of COVID-19 and inadvertently gave the virus to his father, Robert Molina Jr., 59, who is a diabetic.

It's not the place the North Texas father and son envisioned spending time together.

Molina III and his 59-year-old father were discharged after a week-long hospital stay due to COVID-19.

“It was a struggle. It was a fight,” Molina III said. “For two days, I didn't know if I was coming or going.”

On June 19, Robert Molina III checked into Texas Health Dallas and began his battle with COVID-19.

“I had a cough, but I just assumed it was allergies,” Molina III said. “But then the cough got worse, and I ended up with a high fever, chills and body aches.”

On June 21, Molina Jr. joined his son as a COVID-19 patient. Both men ended up at Texas Health Dallas, where they were put on oxygen.

The younger Molina, who has no underlying health conditions, developed pneumonia. Doctors decided to treat him with plasma from a recovered COVID-19 patient and Remdesivir. Doctors say he was a perfect candidate.

“In hopes of avoiding deterioration of his respiratory status, we opted to give him all available COVID-19-specific treatments, including Remdesivir and convalescent plasma,” said Katia Brown, M.D., an infectious disease specialist at Texas Health Dallas.

The next day, Molina III, a father of two young boys, started to improve.

“It worked for me and brought me back, so here I am,” he said.

“We used to reserve Remdesivir in March and April for people who are on life support and critically ill patients,” explained Dr. Donna Casey with Texas Health Dallas. “We now know if we give it to you early on the floor, we can prevent you from going on life support.”

Dr. Casey also says Remdesivir is now more available in hospitals. But she says prevention is the key to curving the spread of COVID-19.

“There's all this drama about masks,” she said. “This is not going to be forever. We can all wear masks.”

“I just want everyone to be precautious. Wear a mask. Do what people tell you to do to protect yourself. It's not a joke,” Molina III said. “You never know what's going to happen. You could have a mild case or a strong case. Age doesn't matter. We're here living speaking it up.”

Molina III says he still has a cough but is getting stronger every day. His father recovered with help from IV fluids and oxygen.

Dr. Casey says a plasma donation from a previously positive patient can help save the life of four people.

To learn more about the plasma donation process and who can donate, visit Texas Health’s Coronavirus Response page.