A young woman on her way to becoming a pediatrician has lost her battle with COVID-19.
20-year-old Helen Etuk was in her senior year at the University of North Texas. She was planning on continuing her education in med school after graduation. As a lupus patient and child of a single mother, Etuk hopes to become a pediatrician who could offer medical treatment to low-income children.
Once the young woman returned to in-person classes, she continued to social distance and wear her mask. However, late last year, she began to develop symptoms, including a cough.
“She blamed herself, saying she made a mistake in going back to school. She said that sometimes students pull their masks down, so they cover their mouths but not their noses,” says her mother, Ellen Clinton.
Etuk’s cough turned out to be COVID-19. The virus progressed, and Etuk spent almost three months in the hospital before passing away on January 12th, one month before her 21st birthday. Her family created a GoFundMe to cover her funeral costs. At the end of January, she was laid to rest.
Clinton says that her daughter was always eager to learn from a young age, preferring books over dolls.
“That’s when I knew she was smart,” Clinton said before adding, “She would have done so much.”
The GoFundMe page echoed these sentiments, with a family friend writing, “Helen dedicated her life to serve God, make her loved ones happy, and excel in her academics so that one day she may be fortunate to give her mother, Ellen Clinton, all the things she has desired.”