JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A 20-year-old Jacksonville woman is now the head of her household after losing her father to COVID-19 while her mother still fights for her life on a ventilator with COVID-19.
Amanda Beinborn has to fill both of her parents’ shoes, and those responsibilities include caring for her brother with special needs.
“A lot of people have that mentality that, you know, this isn’t going to happen to them. I basically felt the same way,” Beinborn told News4Jax on Tuesday.
Beinborn works as a customer service agent at a golf cart store and interacts with people daily. She said neither she nor her parents were vaccinated.
In June, Beinborn said, she thought she was coming down with a sinus infection.
“I was sniffling a lot. I wasn’t coughing or anything,” she recalled.
She said she got tested for COVID-19 and the positive result soon changed her entire life.
Beinborn said she was sick with the coronavirus for four days, but her parents and brother became ill too and didn’t fight it as well.
“They had some other issues outside of COVID, so I’m sure that’s why it hit them so hard,” Beinborn said.
Beinborn said she took her mother to the hospital on June 29 and her mother was admitted to the intensive care unit.
“My mom had a 103.7 fever. She was coughing,” Beinborn said.
She said her father started having mild symptoms and thought he had fought it off, but then July 3 came around.
“He called me at 6:30 in the morning, ‘I need to go to the hospital I’m not doing well,’” she recounted.
When Beinborn took her father to the hospital, she said, he was immediately admitted to the ICU. A few hours later, she said, she took her 30-year-old brother to the hospital and he was hooked up to an oxygen machine but was discharged a few days later. She said her brother is still on oxygen at home.
After weeks of fighting, Beinborn said, her 55-year-old father Dennis lost his battle with COVID-19 on July 19. She said she watched him take his last breath.
“I looked at him and said, ‘I forgive you for not being able to battle anymore. You’ve got to do what you’ve got to do. If you need to let go, let go. It’s OK,’” she said.
Beinborn said the delta variant took her father’s life. According to doctors, most of the COVID-19 cases in Northeast Florida right now are the delta variant.
“This delta variant seems to be affecting younger people 30 to 50,” said Dr. Sunil Joshi, president of the Duval County Medical Society Foundation. “The symptoms are not necessarily different. They just seem to be transmitted much more rapidly.”
Now Beinborn is left with bills to pay as she takes care of her brother. But she said she can’t pay those bills because she doesn’t have access to her parents’ personal information.
“Our electricity went out for a few hours, like five hours, when my brother was here on oxygen, and I called them and said I didn’t know anything was paid because my mother got text messages whenever something was paid,” she said.
In the meantime, Beinborn is waiting for her mother to come home from the hospital.
Pam Freymiller, Beinborn’s father’s sister, is staying with Beinborn to help her. Freymiller encourages everyone to take COVID-19 seriously and get vaccinated.
“Everybody has their own decisions to make, but just seeing what these guys have gone through, you got to do it,” Freymiller said.
Beinborn said her mother is getting better and doctors think she should be out of the ICU in a few days.