By WLS Staff | January 5, 2021 at 2:11 AM EST – Updated January 5 at 7:00 PM
CHICAGO (WLS) – A 19-year-old Chicago man who had no known underlying conditions died from COVID-19 the week after he was diagnosed, according to his family.
When 19-year-old Arnold Herrera saw a problem, he tried to fix it. He worked on cars for a living and was as good with his hands as he was generous with his heart, his family says.
“I’m always going to remember him for the joyous person he was, for the amazing things he did, the way that he had an effect on everyone’s life,” said Herrera’s older brother, Pablo Portilla.
Portilla says his brother was diagnosed with COVID-19 last week and was recovering at home. He appeared to be getting better, but hours after ringing in the new year, his condition worsened.
“He told us, ‘Happy new year.’ Unfortunately after that, he just had complications a full day. He was in pain. We took him to the hospital, and that’s that,” Portilla said.
Herrera died Sunday. He became the 11th person in Illinois under the age of 20 to die from the virus.
His family hopes his death serves as a warning to others.
“It doesn’t discriminate on age. It just happens, and we should all be careful. We shouldn’t think, ‘Oh yeah, because I’m young, it’s not going to happen to me,’” Portilla said. “We just have to be careful. We have to take our precautions, and we have to take this seriously.”
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