McAllen teen who caught Governor Abbott’s attention mourns mom

State & Regional

(Photo from KVEO and

MCALLEN, Texas (KVEO) — Fourteen-year-old Emilian Sosa from McAllen, who caught the attention of Governor Greg Abbott in a plea for assistance on his mother’s medical treatment, has announced the passing of his mother.

Erika Edith Calderon Reyes passed away on May 13 at 8:24 a.m. after a long fight with COVID-19.

Sosa announced on his Facebook his appreciation and support received during this difficult period.

“I’m eternally grateful to every single one of you for supporting me in this long and hard journey. From social media shares, keeping us in your prayers, financial support,” said Sosa.

Sosa commended his mother for fighting a “horrific virus” and the faith and hope she had that kept her with him for so long.

“She was an exemplary mother who taught me the values of life and filled me with love. Most importantly, she taught me to walk by Faith and not depart from it,” said Sosa.

KVEO spoke to the teen at the beginning of 2021. He said with some help he did some research and found a treatment called Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation Therapy (ECMO).

The therapy is used on extremely sick patients, but there is no ECMO program in the Rio Grande Valley, so Calderon would have to be flown out by helicopter.

Desperate for help, Emilian wrote a letter to Governor Abbott begging for the treatment.

Governor Abbott responded to Sosa’s letter and confirmed on Twitter that the proper equipment will be offered to his mother.

Once more, Sosa is asking for assistance in helping pay for her final resting and other expenses in a Go Fund Me.

(Information from

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