KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Some people had to skip Christmas or change their plans this year due to COVID-19.
However, one woman got a surprise from her family while she was in quarantine.
Destiny Zabala said she has spent every Christmas back at home in Johnson City with her family. However, this year she was stuck in Knoxville after testing positive for COVID-19.
“Normally I would go back home and stay the night with them and we would eat dinner and open presents and everything, but COVID got in the way.”
“It came out of nowhere,” she said. “I went to the ER on Tuesday for kidney pain and I had a sore throat and I told them about it. So they just went ahead and tested me.”
Zabala added, “the next day my test results hadn’t come back, but I woke up with a terrible fever, all the symptoms, and I was like oh man, this is rough, and then they called me and told me that I was positive.”
She wasn’t the only one in her family who came down with the virus. Her dad and brother ended up catching COVID-19 too.
“None of my family actually got to have Christmas this year,” she said.
It was an unexpected way to spend the holiday, but two other family members wanted to make her Christmas a little more jolly.
“My nanny and my papaw packed me up a big box, they made Christmas dinner, packed it up, brought me like dog food and waters and a couple of little presents,” said Zabala.
Her grandparents made the two-hour trip from Erwin, Tennessee to see their granddaughter from afar.
“They watched me open everything and eat my dinner while they stood in the yard and talked to me.”
Their socially distanced holiday was a complete surprise to Destiny and a special Christmas gift for all three.
“They were like, ‘the best part about Christmas was being able to come to see you,’ and it was just so precious,” Zabala said. “I don’t know what I would do without my nanny and papaw.”
Destiny Zabala said that she is feeling much better than when she was first diagnosed. She will be quarantined until the New Year.