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‘I knew they’d be there’: Mesquite mom says family’s visits outside her hospital window fueled her fight against COVID-19



MESQUITE, TX — Mother’s Day will have a whole new meaning for a family in Mesquite after its matriarch, who’s been hospitalized since January with COVID-19, pulled ahead of a bleak diagnosis.

Yet, it’s all how 61-year-old Robyne Griffin explains she cornered the virus that will leave you speechless.

In late February, Chris and Melissa Griffin were desperate. They frustratingly came to WFAA because they couldn’t do more for their mother, Robyne, who was sedated and on a ventilator in a Sunnyvale community hospital.

The two siblings are teachers in Mesquite and have tiptoed their way through the COVID-19 pandemic to make sure family members don’t get infected.

Teachers, of course, have a higher risk of being exposed to the virus due to their occupation.

However, in early January, Robyne became a statistic. She was living with her daughter along with her husband when she tested positive for COVID-19.

The couple moved to Texas from New Hampshire when the pandemic began to be closer to family.

Melissa fears she brought the virus home from the classroom.

“Choosing to be a teacher during all of this, we had to support our family financially, and it came with a risk every day,” Melissa Griffin said.

“Unfortunately, we all got sick.”

Robyne tested positive after Melissa did, and so did her husband. Her health took a turn for the worse on Jan. 11, per the Griffin siblings.

Robyne struggled to breathe, and she visited the ER but was sent home.

On Jan. 13, paramedics and an ambulance had to be called because Robyne was coughing so hard she couldn’t breathe.

Robyne has been hospitalized ever since.

Looking back, the Griffins remember the month of February as a dark time.

“Her odds of living a normal life were about 1 in 10 per the doctor we were working with,” Chris Griffin said Thursday. “We were looking at some really long odds, but we weren’t going to give up.”

Luckily, Robyne’s room at the Sunnyvale hospital was on the first floor. Chris and Melissa made it a point to visit every day.