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Loved ones urge caution after 24-year-old dies from COVID-19

Posted at 10:00 PM, Mar 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-31 00:04:43-04

WEST JORDAN, Utah – The loved ones of a Utah woman who lost her life to coronavirus hope her death will serve as a reminder for others to take precautions surrounding COVID-19 seriously.

Silvia Melendez spent nearly nine days at the Intensive Care Unit at the University of Utah Hospital before losing her battle to COVID-19.

“She was in the hospital going through an extremely hard time in a medically induced coma for the last eight or nine days of her life,” said Silvia’s best friend Acacia Probert.

Silvia was just 24 years old and had pre-existing conditions including diabetes and a heart surgery a few years prior.

“Life will never be the same after this,” said Probert. “It’s almost like being in a video game, we knew, we were talking about things getting serious… very quickly things have turned very, very real.”

Silvia is the state’s fourth-reported COVID-19 related death and the youngest. Given her age, her death has now made headlines across the country.

“She was so kind and so caring in everything that she did. She was so selfless, and even in the act of her passing, just seeing the global impact that this is already having and the conversation that this is really sparking, it was in true Silvia fashion,” said Probert.

Now, those close to her hope Silvia’s early death will serve a greater purpose.

“This [the virus] needs to be taken so much more seriously,” Probert said. “At the end of the day, it’s someone else’s life… even if it’s not yours, it is someone else’s life.”

“I just hope everyone can embody more of what Silvia stood for and what Silvia wanted from all of us, and that’s really to be more selfless and be more compassionate,” Probert added.

Silvia’s mother was also hospitalized for coronavirus complications. Her father and two brothers are also sick and are currently recovering.

A fundraising page has been set up to help cover the cost of Silvia’s funeral.