El Paso woman loses mother to virus and her job on Christmas week


EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — On Christmas Eve a year ago, El Pasoan Laura Sorrell was spending the day with her mother and her dog.

A memory popped up on her Facebook on Thursday, reminding her of just how different this Christmas would be as she received word on Monday that her mother passed away after more than 80 days in the hospital battling COVID-19.

Angelica Sorrell eating ice cream one year ago on Christmas Eve.

“I can’t believe a year later she’s gone, I think and I say, ‘no this is a dream,'” said Sorrell as tears streamed down her face.

Laura’s mother, Angelica Sorrell, was just 59 years old. Laura told KTSM 9 News that a few days before her mother passed away, she had a dream with her mother in it.

“I asked her, like, ‘mom when you are sedated do you hear everything?’ And she told me like, ‘yes, Mija, I hear you all the time,'” said Laura Sorrell.

Laura had been spending a lot of time at her mother’s bedside and had planned to spend Christmas at the hospital. She was hopeful that the dream was a sign that her mother would recover, but on Monday morning, she received a call from the hospital that her mother passed away.

“Even, like, I bought a card for her, but that card, it was empty now,” Laura said.

On the same day that her mother died, she received a second call, but this time from her employer. She went into the office and was told that she was being let go.

“You know, pretty much I have my last check and that’s the only thing that I have (to) survive,” said Laura Sorrell. “And just, hopefully I can get the unemployment and you know just I want to put my mom with my dad on Fort Bliss and let her rest in peace.”

Laura said it was emotional having her mother in the hospital for so long and said it was difficult to go to work every day. However, the news of being let go came as a shock to her.

“My mom lived day by day and one day is OK and I was happy,” said Laura. “Another day she’s not OK and, of course, I was worried.”

Instead of being at the hospital next to her mother this Christmas, Laura will be spending Christmas alone and hopes that others will make the sacrifice this year so that they can celebrate next year with family and friends.

“Be alone this Christmas, where you can have a better Christmas with your family with your friends. You know it’s preferred missing a couple hours without them instead of you don’t have your family, like me, I don’t have my mom anymore,” she said.

Laura explained that doctors told her many times that her mom wasn’t going to make it, but she never gave up hope. However, she never imagined that she would lose her right before Christmas.

She said she will be spending the holiday planning her mother’s funeral and applying for unemployment.

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