An 18-year-old  woman died just days after contracting the , 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 virus "literally just ate her through," the woman’s mother, Deborah Simental, told

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

Sarah Simental posing for a Christmas photo with her dog. 

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 Medical Center for treatment, the .

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

"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 was "an example that it can happen to the youngest and healthiest people. … This is real."

A funeral for Sarah was scheduled for Wednesday at Lawn Funeral Home in Orland Park, Ill., according to her obituary.



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