Bethany Nesbitt, a 20-year-old psychology student at Grace College in Winona Lake, Indiana, was found dead in her dorm room on October 30, 1o days after developing symptoms of COVID-19.
According to a statement put out by her family, Nesbitt suffered a pulmonary embolism, a blockage in one of the pulmonary arteries of the lungs, caused by a blood clot.
Blood clotting is a common and deadly complication of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.
The third-year student started experiencing symptoms of the week of October 20 and got tested for the virus on October 22, but an “unknown clerical error” meant she did not receive the results of that test, her family said.
For the next four days, Nesbitt stayed in close contact with her family, and was monitored by campus staff, but on October 26 her oxygen levels dipped. She was taken to the emergency room, where doctors said they strongly suspected she had COVID-19, but that they considered it a mild case and sent her back to her dorm room to rest.
She was tested again October 29, and Nesbitt told her family she’d had no fever for over a day. She then “watched Netflix and went to bed.”
Nesbitt was found dead at 10 AM the next morning. Later that day, her COVID-19 test came back positive.
“Bethany was the baby of our family, the youngest of nine,” her older brother Stephen Nesbitt, a writer for The Athletic, wrote on Twitter. “She loved Jesus. She loved memes. And she loved her family and friends until the very end.”
Doctors have been alarmed by how many young people have developed blood clots from COVID-19
Since the start of the pandemic, blood clots have emerged as a common and deadly complication of what was initially thought to be a solely respiratory disease.
Research from New York University published in July found the disease can cause blood clots in every single organ of the body.
It remains unclear why the novel coronavirus causes blood clots, but it could be the blood vessels’ reaction to the virus’ invasion of the body, Aylin Woodward reported.
Doctors are also unsure as to why otherwise healthy young people are developing clots. Thomas Oxley, a neurosurgeon at Mount Sinai Hospital, told CNN in April: “Our report shows a sevenfold increase in incidence of sudden stroke in young patients during the past two weeks. Most of these patients have no past medical history and were at home with either mild symptoms (or in two cases, no symptoms) of COVID-19.”
Blood clots are linked to many of COVID-19’s most deadly symptoms
Clots can inhibit the flow of blood by blocking arteries, thickening blood, and hindering movement through veins entirely.
Researchers believe clots are also responsible for conditions like “COVID toes” — purple, swollen toes linked to COVID-19 — as well as the many strokes, heart attacks, and pulmonary embolisms being recorded in COVID-19 patients.
Clots have also led to long-lasting symptoms in “long-haul” patients, including kidney failure, heart inflammation, and immune system complications.
Many of the coronavirus’ most mysterious and dangerous symptoms have one thing in common: blood clots. This isn’t solely a respiratory infection.
An NYU pathologist says blood clots were found in ‘almost every organ’ of coronavirus patients’ autopsies
Blood clots are a common and deadly complication of the coronavirus, and doctors are stepping up their efforts to prevent them
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