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Teen Brothers From Northwest Indiana Fighting 3-Month Battle Against COVID-19

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Two teenage brothers have now been in the hospital for three months after catching COVID 19.

One is still too sick to talk, and the other is now urging everyone to keep doing whatever possible to stop the spread of the virus. He shared their story with Morning Insider Tim McNicholas.

Inside Advocate Christ Medical Center, Pablo Nunez is staying strong—not just for himself, but for his big brother Carlos.

"I'm feeling great. Much better," Pablo said.

He and his brother have been in the ICU since April.

While Pablo is feeling better, he said his brother is doing worse.

"He's not eating a lot…mostly sleeping through the day," Pablo said.

Both brothers got so sick they needed an ECMO machine to help them oxygenate blood.

Carlos is still on that machine. Pablo is now off, but still needs help breathing.

"It's sad. He's not improving as much," Pablo said about his brother.

"We're hoping he doesn't have to have a lung transplant," said their brother-in-law, Lonnie Bailey.

Lonnie and the boys' sister said Pablo and Carlos were both planning to get vaccinated, but they got sick just days before before they got their shots.

The CDC now recommends vaccines for people 12 and older.

"So just get vaccinated, or be as safe as possible. Do not let your guard down, because this can happen to you," Lonnie said.

The family is from Lake County, Indiana, which is 44% fully vaccinated. That's below the national rate of nearly 48%, and below neighboring Cook County, where more than 53% are fully vaccinated.

"He's still very touch and go," Becky Bailey said.

Carlos is struggling to speak, but he has found the strength to tell his family he loves them.

"It takes everything out of him just to talk. But for him to say how are you? That's just his personality. He's thinking of everyone else before himself," Becky said.

The family has launched a GoFundMe; not for medical bills, but to give the boys something to look forward to. The plan is to put the funds to college expenses or maybe a family vacation.

"Carlos is in a very dark place, and we're out of desperation doing whatever we can just to keep him wanting to keep fighting," Lonnie said.

Making all this even more challenging, the boys' father suffers from both Alzheimer's and a heart condition. He is already vaccinated, and so is their mom, and the family believes those vaccines protected the parents from the virus.

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