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Indiana could received its first supply of coronavirus vaccine in November, federal health officials say. However, there are still many questions about the vaccine.
WINONA LAKE, Ind. – The family of a 20-year-old student at a private northern Indiana college who died after experiencing COVID-19 symptoms is pleading for people to take the virus seriously.
Bethany Nesbitt, a psychology student at Grace College, died Thursday in her dorm room
Kosciusko County Coroner Tony Ciriello ruled her official cause of death a blood clot, which her family in Grand Ledge, Michigan, points out “is widely recognized as being one of the most common causes of death among COVID-19 patients.”
Nesbitt had been quarantined in her room for 10 days after starting to have symptoms and getting tested Oct. 22, according to a statement from her family.
Her older brother Stephen Nesbitt, who tweeted out the statement, said the family is declining all interviews at this time.
There was to be a memorial service for Nesbitt at 10:30 a.m. Thursday.
Doctor said she was recovering
She communicated frequently with her parents and eight older siblings as she was recovering, the family said. Nesbitt, who was asthmatic, knew there was some risk in returning to campus but had made the choice to go back, her family said in the statement.
While Nesbitt was sick, she was monitored by health care professionals and worked with her mother to check her oxygen levels, the family said.
Four days after Nesbitt got tested, she went to the emergency room because her oxygen levels dropped, the family said, but the doctor who saw her said her case wasn’t severe and “she seemed to be recovering.”
Two days later, Nesbitt told her family her fever had gone away the previous day and her oxygen levels were returning to normal.
She got tested again the next day — the result came back positive after her death — then watched Netflix and went to bed.
Nesbitt was found dead in her dorm room last Thursday morning.
She was ‘selfless and loving friend’
Nesbitt was the youngest of nine children.
Her family described her as a “selfless and loving friend” who always encouraged others.
“She had a passion for helping others, especially children, and her sassy sense of humor and wonderful laugh put them at ease,” the family’s statement reads.
Nesbitt was pursuing a career as a child life specialist — a health care professional who works with children and their families to help them cope with the challenges of hospitalization, illness and disability.
The family is working to set up a scholarship fund in her memory to help provide scholarships to students with similar dreams. Those interested in helping can donate at gofundme.com/f/bethany-nesbitt-memorial-scholarship-fund.
Meanwhile, they’re dealing with a permanent loss.
“There will be an empty seat at our table the next time our family comes together – and every time after that,” the family said. “This loss is forever.”
‘Exercise enormous caution’
The Nesbitt family already had canceled its holiday plans, according to the statement, and encouraged others to follow suit. The “risks of gathering in large groups aren’t worth it this year,” the family added.
The Nesbitts pleaded with people to take the virus seriously and “exercise enormous caution” no matter their age.
“Please don’t assume that young people will not be impacted by this virus,” the family’s statement reads. “Bethany was careful. She wore her mask. She socially distanced.”
The family urged people to follow those same protocols.
Contact reporter Megan Banta at [email protected] Follow her on Twitter @MeganBanta_1.
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