Woman, 20, Uses Last Words Before Being Intubated to Tell Mom She Doesn't 'Want to Die' of COVID

Cleo Shepherd died on Monday from complications related to COVID-19

Cleo Shepherd
Cleo Shepherd. Photo: gofundme

A devastated family is mourning the death of Cleo Shepherd, a 20-year-old woman who told her mother before she was intubated that she didn't want to die of COVID-19.

Tragically, Shepherd died on Monday from complications related to the respiratory virus, according to her mom, Summer Carr.

"They had to intubate her, and right before they intubated her, the last thing she said to me was, 'Mama, I don't want to die'," Carr told local news station KTBV, recounting her final conversation with her daughter.

"And I promised her she was going to be fine. And that was the last conversation I ever had with her," she recalled.

Shepherd was first hospitalized in Ontario, Oregon, a town on the Idaho border, Carr said. She was then transferred to Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center in Boise.

According to a GoFundMe campaign set up to raise funds for funeral costs, Shepherd developed pneumonia while in the hospital, which led to kidney failure and eventually "her heart just couldn't keep up with everything."

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Shepherd "fought hard" for a week prior to her hospitalization and had spent another week in the intensive care unit before her death, the fundraiser's description read.

"She was 20 years old and full of life. This should not have to happen," Carr told KTBV.

"She was just the kindest soul, and she loved children so much. She walked into a room and it lit up," the mom added. "And although it hurts us, we know Jesus is holding her in his arms right now. And I just want to thank everybody for their continued prayers."

As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from the CDC, WHO and local public health departments. PEOPLE has partnered with GoFundMe to raise money for the COVID-19 Relief Fund, a GoFundMe.org fundraiser to support everything from frontline responders to families in need, as well as organizations helping communities. For more information or to donate, click here.

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