A mother's plea to save her immunocompromised child

Hollingsworth family.JPG
Posted at 5:09 PM, Jul 28, 2021

BALTIMORE (WMAR) — "It seems like no one cares," said Jasmine Hollingsworth. "It's been really hard."

The Baltimore County mother of three gets emotional, thinking about the toll the pandemic has taken on her family.

Aside from her husband, who has to go in to work, her family of 5 has been basically isolated to their home for a year and a half.

"No grocery stores, no birthday parties, no trips to see friends," said Hollingsworth.

It's because they are trying to keep their 13-year-old daughter safe.

Kai had a liver transplant at just four months old. She’s on medication to suppress her immune system so she doesn’t reject her donated organ, but it makes her more susceptible to getting really sick.

Because she is high risk, she and her siblings have not been in school since last march and Hollingsworth said virtual learning has really impacted them.

"Two out of three of my children, the ones with the learning disabilities, were just struggling so hard this year. It just felt like a battle," said Hollingsworth.

She and her husband are vaccinated and so is Kai, but immunosuppression medications have been shown to negatively impact the effectiveness.

With the delta variant causing a spike in cases nationwide, the CDC now recommends even vaccinated people mask up in areas where there is high COVID-19 transmission. While that doesn’t include Maryland, Hollingsworth is asking people, vaccinated and unvaccinated, to think about her daughter, and others like her, who need protection.

She feels like they do what they can to protect her and they have been forgotten by those who make vaccines and masks a matter of personal freedom.

"You may not be at risk but this isn’t just about you. There are people out there who don’t have a choice. This is a matter of life or death for them," said Hollingsworth.

Not only will it help keep immunocompromised people safe, but she wants some of their freedoms back too. She'd love to see a time in the near future when her kids can go back to school safely.

"Masking hopefully will lead to hopefully a decrease in cases and then it would be safer for us to go out," said Hollingsworth.

77% of the 18+ population in Maryland is vaccinated. Gov. Larry Hogan said his focus is getting the rest of the state’s eligible population vaccinated, not implementing restrictions like a mask mandate.