Valeria Viveros of Riverside knew there were risks working in a nursing home amid the COVID-19 pandemic, family members said.
But the 21-year-old felt compelled to do her best to help as she worked her first job as a nursing assistant at the Extended Care Hospital of Riverside.
Earlier this month, she became one of dozens at the facility diagnosed with the virus herself. Seven days later, on Friday, she died from complications of COVID-19.
“We’re in shock. It’s unbelievable. We can’t even imagine that she’s gone,” uncle Gustavo Urrea said.
“She was admitted to the hospital. She never came home,” he said. “She was put in isolation, and they were treating her with a ventilator.”
A fund established online to help Viveros’ family had raised more than $17,000 as of Sunday night.
“Her mother, father, sister, and brother are in shock, mourning, and in quarantine,” aunt Rafaela Pinto Urrea wrote on the memorial page
“Valeria made the ultimate sacrifice for her elderly patients,” she said. “Valeria did not have the heart to stay home! She was driven to be with the elderly under her care at a skilled nursing facility in Riverside, in spite of the fact that several patients were infected with COVID-19.”
“We remember her spirit of dedication and perseverance in her goals, her joy and sincerity, and care for others,” Rafaela Urrea said.