Kiley Lane, 27, died last month due to complications from the extremely rare hantavirus infection

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May 01, 2018 11:25 AM

A 27-year-old New Mexico mother died on April 18 after contracting an extremely rare infection spread by rodent droppings, her mother told Today.

Kiley Lane, of Farmington, was diagnosed with hantavirus in February after experiencing abdominal pain and being placed on a ventilator, her mother Julie Barron told PEOPLE at the time.

According to Today, Lane spent two months in an intensive care unit and in the final 10 days of her life, her brain function began to diminish. She soon became unresponsive and passed away, Barron told Today.

“I was hoping against hope. She fought the good fight until there was nothing left to fight for,” Barron said to Today. “We wouldn’t want anyone else to have to go through this.”

RELATED: New Mexico Mom Fights for Life in ICU After Contracting Rare Rodent-Borne Virus

Doctors were initially puzzled by Lane’s illness, testing her for various infections — but the tests kept coming back negative, Barron told PEOPLE in February. On February 5 — weeks after the symptoms began — doctors diagnosed Lane with hantavirus, a dangerous respiratory infection.

Kiley Lane
Julie Barron

Hantavirus is usually spread through contact with rodents—such as the deer mice, cotton rats, rice rats the white-footed mouse—and is usually transmitted to humans when they are bitten or come into contact with fresh rodent droppings. The virus can lead to Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome, according to the Centers for Disease Control, which causes coughing and shortness of breath as fluid builds up in the lungs.

Upon being diagnosed, Lane was flown to the ICU at University of New Mexico Hospital in Albuquerque, and placed on an Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) machine, which supports patients with failing hearts and lungs by pumping oxygen throughout the body, PEOPLE previously reported. She was taken off the machine 10 days later and Lane’s health appeared to improve.

Kiley Lane with her daughter, Dawson
Julie Barron

“Kiley and I have a huge connection. If I said her name … she would look at me,” Barron told Today. “I never ever had that bad feeling that she wasn’t going to come through it.”

However, with damaged lungs and failing brain function, Lane’s mobility was reduced to eye movements, the outlet reported.

“We lost her, and I don’t exactly know when,” Barron told Today.

In February, Barron told PEOPLE that she wanted to share Lane’s story as a warning to others.

“Kiley’s story may be unique, and who knows why she or how she contracted it,” she said.

Kiley (right) with her husband, Kevin
Julie Barron

“But the important thing is people do need to know— if they think they’ve been exposed — to ask to be tested, because the doctors probably aren’t going to think of the virus just off the bat.”

She added to PEOPLE of her daughter: “Kiley is a ball of life. I mean, she is creative and funny and… She’s thoughtful, and she has a lot of things she still wants to do.”

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