LOS ANGELES -- When 93-year-old Maria de la Luz Vargas became sick with COVID-19 in late July, her family feared the worst.
"I actually thought she was gonna die," said her grandson Alberto Guerrero.
But the grandmother's shirt says it all. Her shirt reads "COVID-19 survivor."
"She is recovering to 100%," Guerrero said.
Health professional say those who are elderly and those who have underlying health conditions are among the most vulnerable.
In Los Angeles County, health department briefings often reveal a similar trend.
"Ninety-three percent of the persons who die from COVID-19 have underlying health conditions," said county health officer Dr. Muntu Davis at a briefing Aug.31.
"She has diabetes. She has high blood pressure," said Vargas' grandson Javier Guerrero. "We want to give a message of hope to people... if your relative is diagnosed with COVID, I just want you to know that there is a possibility to get over it, to overcome the virus."
But even those who are considered healthy have died after becoming infected.
"Again, I caution you that means that 7% were healthy or did not have an underlying health condition," said Davis at the August briefing.
Vargas said she's doing well. She's back to enjoying some of her favorite foods.
"Beans, tortillas and salsa," she said.
Her grandchildren also want to assure families they can safely care for loved ones if they become sick.
"My brothers, my sisters, we told ourselves, 'Let's take care of our grandmother,'" said Alberto Guerrero.
"She raised all of our brothers and sisters," said Javier Guerrero. "To us, she's our mother. And obviously in this time of need, we needed to step up."
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