The family of a 20-year-old college student who died after experiencing COVID-19 symptoms is now pleading for others to take the virus seriously.

Bethany Nesbitt, a student at Grace College in Winona Lake, Indiana, was found dead Oct. 30 in her dorm room after having COVID-19 symptoms for about 10 days and awaiting a test result, according to a statement from her family. The results came back positive after her death, her family said.

The third-year psychology major from Grand Ledge, Michigan, had asthma and was previously taken to the emergency room. Doctors determined Nesbitt likely had COVID-19, but it was not a severe case and she seemed to be recovering.

Kosciusko County Coroner Anthony Ciriello ruled Tuesday her official cause of death a blood clot, noting that “while COVID did play a role in contributing to the death, it was not caused by COVID.”

Her family pointed out, however, that blood clots are “widely recognized as being one of the most common causes of death among COVID-19 patients.” They’re now encouraging other people to “exercise enormous caution” as COVID-19 cases continue to rise.

“Please don’t assume that young people will not be impacted by this virus. Bethany was careful. She wore her mask. She socially distanced,” the statement said. “We plead with you to take this virus seriously.”

“Grace College students, faculty and staff continue to pray for the Nesbitt family and mourn the loss of a beloved classmate and friend, Bethany Nesbitt. We are also working with the family to honor Bethany’s legacy,” Grace College President Bill Katip said in a statement Tuesday. “She will always be remembered for her joyful spirit, her love for the Lord and others and her positive impact on campus.”

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