ATLANTA — Like most working parents, the pandemic has dealt a double-duty situation for Giana Bigsby.
This single mother-of-two is working as a paraprofessional for Atlanta Public Schools and trying to navigate the tricky balance between being a teacher and a parent.
On top of that, she is also taking care of her son Isaiah Jackson, 10, who has been in the ICU since December after doctors diagnosed him with COVID-19.
“It’s hard but I am doing. I’m doing it. I’m doing it. But I cannot give up. I refuse to give up,” Bigsby said.
Isaiah, who goes by the nickname Ziggy, was born with a rare genetic disorder called Prader Willi Syndrome, or PWS, which is the leading cause of childhood obesity.
People with this syndrome constantly feel hungry, and they often have short stature and low muscle tone.
“Ziggy came in on Dec. 27 for an infection. He had for two previous spinal infusion surgeries,” Bigsby told Channel 2′s Michael Seiden.
The Finch Elementary School student, who is known for giving warm hugs to his friends and teachers, also tested positive for COVID-19, causing his lungs to collapse.
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“Isaiah was immediately put on a ventilator. He was basically put in a coma, and things weren’t looking good for Isaiah. The doctors were trying everything, and I prayed,” Bigsby said.
Despite facing the frightening life-threatening situation, Bigsby has remained focused and committed to her job.
“I have a lot of people that support and love Isaiah and send their prayers out,” Bigsby said.
People like Ziggy’s teacher, Pam Basye.
“This woman has become my shero,” Bayse said. “Not only is he amazing, but I have to say and give Bigsby the biggest kudos.”
Bayse is also going above and beyond. She told Seiden that she sets up a Zoom link so Ziggy can listen to her lesson plans. She also reads to him during the day.
“Although I have not received a physical hug from him, his spirit pours through the screen,” Bayse said.
It could still be several months before Ziggy goes home from the hospital. It’s still unclear if he’ll ever walk again.
“Isaiah is a very strong kid. Never for once has he ever questioned why he is going through this,” Bayse said.
“I just would talk Isaiah every day, ‘We’re going to be all right. We are going to make It through,”’ Bigsby said.
Ziggy’s mother told Seiden that her son has a long road to recovery. When Ziggy gets out of the hospital, he will be in a wheelchair.
His family is also trying to raise money for a new wheelchair-accessible van and some other items.
They have set up a GoFundMe account if you would like to help out.
Cox Media Group