A local family is asking for community prayers and support for Rhea Tosta, 31, a single mother of two children, ages 3 and 4, who is in an area hospital with severe complications due to H1N1 flu.
Tosta is a manager at Burger King on West Main Street in Turlock. She lives in Hilmar.
State health officials are reporting that as many as 28 deaths are believed to be linked to H1N1, including 15 in the San Joaquin Valley. Due to the increase in influenza cases Emanuel Medical Center of Turlock has changed its visiting rules. Only those age 15 and older may see patients in hospital rooms.
Tosta's sister, Ashlynn Frazel, says Tosta went to the hospital Sunday evening following a birthday party for her 3-year-old daughter. Tosta had been sick for more than a week. Shortly after being admitted to the hospital, Frazel says Tosta's fever was 102.5 degrees and her oxygen level was at 82 percent.
By Monday morning Tosta was placed in the critical care unit. Frazel said her oxygen level had dropped to 71 percent and she was running a fever of up to 104 degrees.
The next day Tosta was placed on a breathing machine and sedated.
“She is lifeless… she is very critical and they say her lungs are very fragile,” Frazel said. “They don’t want her moving, talking, etc. Rhea is 31 years old, very spunky, young lady.”
As of Wednesday Tosta had responded to verbal stimulus.
“She is responding to me when I said her name, squeezed Ashlynn (Frazel)’s hand,” Tosta's step-mother, Gina Frazel-Tosta, posted on Facebook. “She nodded to me when I asked if she was feeling better. She isn't out of the woods yet she is still in need of prayers. She is improving little by little she is making progress prayers are being answered and I am so thankful to have great support for our daughter.”
Frazel says Tosta's fever finally broke Thursday, however her lungs are infected.
“My sister is still in very critical condition and she is on a breathing machine. She is still heavily sedated and does know anything going on. Her fever finally broke but they are keeping her sedated due to a bad infection in her lungs. They are having to suck her lungs because of all the blood,” she said.
The family is asking for donations, as Tosta does not have medical insurance. To donate visit http://www.gofundme.com/6e8xds, call Frazel at 209-752-0508 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.