Sarah Simental, Lincoln Way East student at Tinley Park, dies of COVID-19 days after diagnosis

TINLEY PARK, Illinois (WLS) – Sarah Simental would study at Lincoln Way East in Frankfort in a few months, but her family is planning her funeral.

The normally healthy teenager dies the day after Christmas of COVID-19.

“I took her that Saturday morning to be tested and by Saturday night she was positive, but she was still adding new symptoms,” said Deborah Simental, her mother.

Her mother said she was playing the tragic timeline of the past week again.

“There was vomiting, and that she was getting chills, and body aches,” Simental said.

Two days before Christmas, the 18-year-old was admitted to Silver Cross Hospital. Her symptoms quickly worsened.

Later, they were airlifted to the University of Chicago Medical Center, where doctors tried to save Sarah’s life.

“I know she was fighting because one of the last times I could talk to her on the phone, they took her out of the regular room to the ICU and she said, ‘I’m going to be fine, Mom,’ and that was the last thing, ‘says Simental.

She did not make it.

“She had a cardiac arrest, she had a brain hemorrhage, it made her kidneys worse, it just ate her through,” Simental said. “No parent ever has to look after their child. No one.”

RELATED: Couple Dies at COVID Days Before Christmas After a Short Family Visit

Sarah has not been out of the house much yet, so her mother is not sure how she contracted the virus.

The teenager spent more time at home with her family and her dog Bailey during the pandemic.

Her family shares an important message.

“Please take this coronavirus seriously,” said her father Don Simental.

The funeral will be held Wednesday at Lawn Funeral Home in Orland Park. Instead of flowers, her family asks for donations to PAWS from Tinley Park, where Sara spent much of her time.

Copyright © 2020 WLS-TV. All rights reserved.