Healthy Illinois teen dies days after contracting coronavirus, family says

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An 18-year-old girl in Illinois died just days after she contracted COVID-19, according to her family.

Sarah Simental, who lived in the Chicago suburb of Tinley Park, died from the virus the day after Christmas, Cook County officials said.

The girl’s mother, Deborah Simental, told ABC affiliate WLS that the virus "literally just ate her through. 

"No parent should have to watch their child go through that," she said.

Sarah Simental posing for a Christmas photo with her dog. 
(Courtesy of Deborah Simental)

Simental said her daughter first experienced symptoms last Wednesday and tested positive for COVID-19. She was hospitalized and flown to the University of Chicago for treatment, the Chicago Tribune reported.

The county medical examiner’s office said the teen died Sunday of acute hypoxic respiratory failure and nontraumatic cerebral hemorrhages from the infection.

"She was a healthy young lady who had just turned 18 in November and had the world in her hands," her mother told The Tribune.

She said her daughter "is an example that it can happen to the youngest and healthiest people … This is real."

A funeral for Sarah is being held on Wednesday at Lawn Funeral Home in Orland Park, Illinois, according to her obituary.

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