Generosity Grows From Grief

August 26, 2020

Earlier this year, the Caraballos of Potomac, Md., joined the legion of families whose lives have been directly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Kelly Caraballo’s aunt and father both contracted the virus. Her father made a miraculous recovery after spending time in the ICU. But her aunt, who received treatment at Johns Hopkins-affiliated hospitals in Bethesda, Md., and Baltimore, did not recover.

A young woman wearing a face mask stands at the rear of a minivan. The van's back gate is open and inside the back are dozens of pizza boxes.
Isabella Caraballo raised more than $3,200 for Johns Hopkins’ COVID-19 response funds and also delivered food to support the hospital’s front-line workers.

Amidst their grief, the Caraballo family – particularly their 17-year-old daughter, Isabella – found resolve.

“We couldn’t visit the hospital, and we felt like the hospital workers were doing so much,” Isabella says. “We were just trying to think of something we could do to help the workers and honor our family member.”

Isabella decided to start a small social media campaign to raise $500 for those on the front lines at Johns Hopkins. Within 48 hours, though, she’d raised more than $3200. In addition, Isabella and Kelly made trips to deliver meals to workers at both Suburban and Johns Hopkins hospitals.

“It was heartbreaking that we could not be with our family member, but the compassion that the healthcare workers showed to her and us was amazing,” Kelly says.

Both Isabella and Kelly were heartened by the sense of community they saw during their time at the hospitals. Despite the tough times, the two were encouraged by the treatment their loved ones received during their times of need and were eager to give back.

“The first time we took food to Johns Hopkins, my aunt was still there, and it was very emotional for me,” Kelly says. “The doctors were so incredibly appreciative. We were just looking for a way to show our appreciation [for them].”

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Topics: Friends of Johns Hopkins Medicine, Johns Hopkins Medicine, Promote and Protect Health