What happened to Sarah Simental? Healthy Chicago teenager dies after Covid-19 'ate her through' within days

'She went into cardiac arrest, she had a brain bleed, it was deteriorating her kidneys, it just ate her through,' recalled Sarah's mother


                            What happened to Sarah Simental? Healthy Chicago teenager dies after Covid-19 'ate her through' within days
Sarah Simental (ABC7)

A healthy high school teenager from Chicago contracted Covid-19 just before Christmas and was dead within days as the virus “ate her through”, according to her family. Sarah Simental, an 18-year-old senior high school student from Lincoln-Way East in Frankfort was going to graduate in a few months before she caught the deadly virus that took her life within a few days.

"I took her to get tested on that Saturday morning and by Saturday night she was positive but she kept adding on new symptoms," said her mother, Deborah Simental. "There was vomiting, and that she was getting the chills and the body aches," said Deborah. Two days before Christmas, the 18-year-old was admitted to Silver Cross Hospital. Her symptoms became more critical fast.

Later, she was shifted to the University of Chicago Medical Center, where doctors tried to save Sarah's life. "I know she fought because one of the last times I was able to talk to her on the phone, they were taking her from the regular room to ICU and she said 'I am going to be OK, mom'," said Deborah.

"She went into cardiac arrest, she had a brain bleed, it was deteriorating her kidneys, it just ate her through," she said. "No parent should ever have to watch their child go through that. Nobody."

“I have no words for it. I just can’t believe how fast it progressed,” Sarah’s dad, Don Simental said. Deborah said the only relief for her and her husband was that they were able to be at their daughter’s bedside when she left the world. “She said, ‘I’m going to be OK, Mom.’ And that was the last thing,” the mother recalled. “So I know that she knows, eventually, we’ll all be OK. We’re going to miss her, but we’ll be OK.”

As Sarah didn't go out of the house much, her mother was not sure how she contracted the virus. The teenager mostly spent her time with family during the pandemic. Her family shared an important message with everyone. "Please take this coronavirus seriously," said her father Don.

Sarah's funeral will be held on Wednesday, December 30, at Lawn Funeral Home in Orland Park. Instead of flowers, her family has asked for donations to P.A.W.S. of Tinley Park where Sara spent a lot of her time.

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