Cindy Ord/Getty Maria Menounos, right, with her parents Costas and Litsa
Maria Menounos is asking for “prayers” as she shares that both of her parents are currently hospitalized with COVID-19.
After a weeklong absence from hosting her podcast and daily show, Better Together, Menounos revealed that she was away taking care of her parents. The journalist, 42, said that she initially flew to Los Angeles to help her mother Litsa, who has been dealing with a brain tumor after battling stage 4 brain cancer.
“We got some not some not so great news on Monday, November 23, that my mom’s brain tumor was growing,” Menounos said on the latest episode of Better Together. The next day, she explained, her mom’s caretaker called in sick, so she and her husband, Keven Undergaro, flew out to help.
“We land, and that’s when this all started. I’m just going to share that we’re in process right now, and we still need prayers. Long story short is that within a few hours, both of my parents were diagnosed with COVID,” Menounos said.
Her mother immediately went to the hospital, and her father followed soon after.
“First it was my mom; they had rushed her to the hospital right when I landed, and then a few hours later my dad tested positive. It was absolutely surreal,” she said, tearing up. “And at this moment, both of them are in separate hospitals here in Los Angeles.”
Menounos, who had a benign brain tumor removed in 2017, said that she has spent most of her days fielding calls from the various doctors treating her parents across the two hospitals.
“It’s been pretty insane,” she said, adding that she is trying not to linger on what could happen to her parents. “I’ve kept focusing on what my desired outcome, and not what my fear was, and that helped me a lot. I think as it has extended, and I’ve become more and more tired, fear creeps back in.”
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Crying, Menounos said that the last few weeks have been difficult.
“It has been an incredible challenge,” she said. “You work so hard to keep your parents healthy and alive, and to see something like this happen. I mean it was bad enough on Monday to hear that about my mom’s tumor. And then the pile of that, um, is a lot.”
Menounos said that the hospital staff and their friends and family have been helping them through.
“Luckily, we’ve had incredible doctors, incredible nurses, incredible friends, and incredible family, that have lifted up and helped us in this time,” she said. “I can’t say enough about these nurses who are now having to manage FaceTime sessions. That’s not part of their job.”
She also offered to share in another podcast episode how she has been managing caring for two COVID-19 patients when she is unable to actually see them in person.
“There’s a helpless feeling there, but you don’t have to be helpless,” she said. “You can still be engaged as an active participant and as an advocate, and as their caretaker, and I will show you exactly how to do that, and how I’ve done it, and some tips and tricks that have been incredibly helpful.”
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