Mother of five fights for coronavirus testing

HOUSTON – A sick mother is in desperate need to get tested for the coronavirus.

Jeannettie De La Cerda said she went to get tested Thursday at the United Memorial Medical Center testing facility in north Houston. But after she says she spent nearly five hours in the line, she was told she wouldn’t get to the front of the line by the time business hours were over. She would have to come back on Friday.

“I cannot believe this, you don’t know it but people are cutting in line left and right… and I’ve been in line for four-and-a-half hours now with four of my kids in the car and I am sick… this is ridiculous," De La Cerda told KPRC 2 Investigates.

De La Cerda has all the symptoms of coronavirus and she is scared for good reason. Her doctor told her Thursday that she needed to be tested immediately.

Late Thursday night, the doctor told De La Cerda that she would provide her with an at-home coronavirus test kit. All De La Cerda would have to do is pick up the test Friday.

But come Friday, De La Cerda was too sick to go and pick it up.

KPRC 2 Reporter Bill Spencer offered to go pick up the test and brought it to her.

With her five children in the other room, De La Cerda gave herself that test as KPRC 2 filmed through a window.

The process looked uncomfortable, but she went through it like a champ.

“This is not the way it is supposed to be. Patients should not be testing themselves," De La Cerda’s doctor told KPRC 2.

However, the alternative would have been worse, the doctor said.

Now, De La Cerda has been tested and her test is being processed by a local lab. In three days, she will know the outcome of those tests.

De La Cerda is worried but also relieved to have gotten the test she needed.

“My doctor offered me an option when there was no other option really available to me," De La Cerda said. “I am sick. I cannot really put into words what I am feeling. She helped me and she took a big risk doing it.”

The spokeswoman for United Memorial Medical Center wrote that should De La Cerda “not be certified with her self-test result, we would gladly test her again next week at our facility.”