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Lumberton father asking for prayers as daughter battling COVID-19 is placed on ventilator again

Kevin Swearingen's daughter, Charlee, will be eased back onto a ventilator as she fights the illness in a Houston hospital

HOUSTON, Texas — A Lumberton father whose teen daughter is battling COVID-19 in a Houston hospital is asking for more prayers after another setback. 

Kevin Swearingen posted on Facebook that his daughter Charlee's lungs "are still full of gunk" as doctors at Texas Children's Hospital use chest tubes to drain blood and fluid from around her lungs. 

"In doing so, her white blood cell count went down by half," Swearingen posted. "The fluid and blood was around the lungs not letting them expand."

Swearingen is currently receiving extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO). Swearingen says doctors will slowly wake Charlee and ease her from ECMO and back on a ventilator by the end of the week to see how her lungs handle it, the post said

"They need that to happen to get the the nasty stuff out of her lungs," Swearingen wrote. "Right now, they can’t get that stuff out and the medicine in. So this is a big step and a very important week. I'll be praying hard this week for my Charlee girl."

Swearingen went almost a week in September without seeing his daughter face-to-face due to the visitor policy at Texas Children's Hospital in Houston. That policy only allowed one visitor in, so Swearingen's wife was the only one by their daughter's side while see battled the deadly disease on a ventilator in ICU.

"I can't imagine what's she thinking, you know," Swearingen said. "My daughter or my wife."

RELATED: Lumberton dad makes emotional plea, fights single-visitor policy to be by daughter's side as she fights COVID-19

Swearingen made emotional pleas on social media to see that policy changed so that he could see his ill daughter. After those social posts, and numerous reports by 12News, Texas Children's Hospital changed its visitor policy allowing Swearingen to be reunited with his daughter. 

 MORE | Medical fundraiser for Charlee Swearingen 

RELATED: Texas Children's Hospital changing COVID-19 visitor policy after Lumberton father pleads to see ill daughter