WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- A college student was found dead in her dorm room while she was in quarantine after her COVID-19 test results returned positive.
- The county coroner said Bethany Nesbitt’s death was ruled as caused by a pulmonary embolus.
- A pulmonary embolus is caused by a blockage in a pulmonary artery- COVID-19 can contribute to blood being more likely to clot and clump.
Around 10 a.m. on Friday, a 20-year-old student was found dead in her dorm room while she was in a 10-day quarantine after testing positive for COVID-19.
In a statement, the school, Grace College in Winona Lake, Indiana, confirmed the death of Bethany Nesbitt, a third-year psychology major. Tuesday, the coroner of Kosciusko County, Tony Ciriello said that Bethany’s cause of death was ruled as a pulmonary embolus. COVID-19 “was a contributing factor” as the virus can affect the pulmonary system.
According to the Mayo Clinic, a pulmonary embolus occurs when blood clots cause a blockage in a pulmonary artery located in the lungs. The website notes that the coronavirus can cause blood to be “more likely to clump up and form clots.”
A family statement posted by Bethany’s brother, Stephen Nesbitt, on Twitter said she was asthmatic and around the week of Oct. 20, started showing symptoms of the coronavirus. On Oct. 22, she tested for the virus, though the results were “never delivered, due to a clerical error.”
Bethany experienced a “drop in her oxygen saturation” on Oct. 26 and went to the emergency room. Doctors had said it was “very likely” she had the coronavirus, but didn’t consider it severe as she “seemed to be recovering.”
Bethany was tested for COVID-19 again on Oct. 29, however, her results only returned positive after her death. The family launched a GoFundMe page to raise funds to honor Bethany with a memorial scholarship. In a Tuesday statement, the family said they were speaking out to urge others to exercise caution as the COVID-19 cases in the US continues to increase.
“Please don’t assume that young people will not be impacted by this virus,” they said. “Bethany was careful. She wore a mask. She socially distanced. We urge you to follow health officials’ protocols and precautions.”
“The risk of gathering in large groups aren’t worth it this year. There will be an empty seat at our table the next time our family comes together – and every time after that,” the family added. “This loss is forever.”