Coronavirus in Illinois: Nurse who recently gave birth among 25 medical professionals to have died from disease

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An Illinois nurse whose cousin said she had vowed to “kick COVID’s butt” is now one of more than two dozen medical professionals in the state who have died from the virus.

Krist Angielen Guzman, 35, passed away Saturday about five months after giving birth to her third child, according to the Chicago Tribune. Both she and her husband – who also had the disease – worked at a nursing home outside of Chicago where reportedly 10 died and 93 residents and staff tested positive.

“She knew what she wanted in life and just went for it,” Jeschelyn Pilar, her cousin, told the newspaper. “She was fierce and vivacious. She was so curious about the world around her and always advocated for those in need.”

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Guzman’s death comes after her uncle – a pediatric surgeon in the Philippines – died from the coronavirus March 31.

Illinois health officials told the Chicago Tribune that Guzman was one of nearly 5,000 medical professionals in the state who contracted the virus, at least 25 of whom have died.

Guzman adored her uncle, posting on Facebook in early April after his death that “he has always been my idol and I wanted to be just like him!”

Later that month, she checked into a hotel to self-isolate, suspicious that she might have the coronavirus. Two days later, the positive test results came in.

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Pilar told the Chicago Tribune that while Guzman was scared of the diagnosis, “in no way, shape or form did she think she’d pass away from this."

“She was a fighter. She said, ‘I’m going to kick COVID’s butt,’” Pilar added.

Guzman died on May 2 after going into cardiac arrest at a hospital across the street from the nursing home. She reportedly checked in there a day before to seek treatment for breathing difficulties.

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“We are mourning the loss of our friend, co-worker, and loving caregiver,” the Meadowbrook Manor Bolingbrook nursing home said in a statement. “We offer our deepest condolences to her family along with our prayers for healing and comfort.”

Guzman’s family is now arranging a funeral, and Pilar has set up a fundraiser to help her husband and children. Guzman’s husband has so far not experienced symptoms, the family told the Tribune.