San Quentin coronavirus: Army veteran, corrections sergeant on life support, battling COVID-19

MARIN COUNTY, Calif. (KGO) -- An Army Veteran and corrections sergeant at San Quentin State Prison is in the ICU battling COVID-19 on a ventilator. Sgt. Gilbert Polanco is a South Bay native who has worked at the prison since the late 1980's.

"Today, they said his numbers were a lot better and it just made us so happy to hear that," says Polanco's daughter Selena.

Currently, Polanco is heavily sedated and on life support. Something that is heartbreaking to his son Vincent, Private First Class Vincent who is following in his father's footsteps and currently serving our country in South Korea.

"My job is literally to protect and serve my country and my country is being defeated by something that I can't even protect my own family from and that really effects me," says PFC Vincent Polanco.

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Polanco Sr. was admitted to the hospital on July 3. Shortly after that, his daughter Selena was diagnosed with COVID-19. Then a few days later, his wife Patricia was diagnosed with the virus. The two had their own battles, but are doing well now. While they are frustrated about the spread in San Quentin, their focus is what comes next.

"Now, we just need to deal with what is the best solution to keep everyone safe," says Polanco's wife Patricia.

Vincent says wrestling is part of his Army training. Something that reminds him of his dad.

"When I used to wrestle as a kid and through college, my dad has always been there watching my corner and always been a supportive father."

Vincent still remembers his last conversation with his father and hopes that his dad was correct.

"He's on the ventilator now, and it was before that and he just told me that he's going to be okay and I'm going to get through this."

The community has come up big for the family as well. They aimed to raise $25,000 and at last check had raised $55,000 to help support them. Here is a link to the family's GoFundMe.

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