Spalding County teen who works as a caretaker is hospitalized battling COVID-19

Alexia Willis, 19, is in a Spalding County hospital battling COVID-19.

"I think she's shocked that it happened to her," says Alyse Richards, Willis' mother. "I think it's overwhelming, but she has that spiritual side. She's very humble."

On March 19th, Willis posted a picture to Facebook. It included the text "I can't stay home, I'm a healthcare worker!" Willis' family tells FOX 5 the teen is a caretaker at a senior care center in Griffin.

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After days of battling a fever and a heavy cough, Richards says her daughter started having trouble breathing. So, she rushed her to the emergency room. Willis has been there ever since.

"Her breath is so short that most of the time when she FaceTimes she can't even speak," says Richards. "It's just a wave or 'I love you' or you know, (a) 'thumbs up', but to even speak it takes her breath."

Richards says she was in denial when she watched her daughter's symptoms progress. She encourages anyone with concerns to get medical attention immediately.