By Saida Maalin
A nursing student working on the front lines of the pandemic died April 10 from COVID-19 complications.
20 year-old Valeria Viveros, also known as Valerie, was a former Riverside City College District student, according to Robert Schmidt Senior Public Affairs Officer for RCCD.
Viveros showed symptoms and rushed to Corona Hospital where she was cared for in the Intensive Care Unit. She died seven days later.
Viveros worked as a nurses assistant at the Extended Care Hospital of Riverside, where she may have contracted the virus. Many patients and staff members tested positive for the virus at that facility.
Due to strict COVID-19 safety measures, her loved ones were not allowed to visit her in the hospital.
Family remembered Viveros and her life on a GoFundMe page created by her aunt Rafaela Pinto Urrea.
The page has raised $23,941for the Viveros family, surpassing the goal of $15,000 to help with funeral expenses.
“In her first job as a nurse assistant, my 21 year old niece Valeria did not have the heart to stay home,” Urrea said on the GoFundMe page. “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.”
A former classmate and friend, Neshae Nault, took to facebook to host a prayer in honor of Viveros.
“She was always a positive person and always loved to help people,” Nault said.
Viveros would have turned 21 on May 7. Friends from high school posted on Twitter and Facebook, expressing their disbelief that Viveros is gone.
“Valerie would want people to know that she’s in a happier place and she’s not suffering anymore,” said Mariann Davis, Viveros’ best friend. “Remember the good times that you shared and even if there’re bad ones laugh at them.”
The two met as freshmen at Norco High School, where they graduated from in June 2017.
“There are so many memories we shared,” Davis said. “I just want everyone to remember the sweet and kind girl that she was. She would do anything for anybody.”