Stephanie Smith died on Nov. 18, five days after she and her fiancé planned to say "I do"
Stephanie Lynn Smith
Stephanie Smith
| Credit: Facebook

A Texas bride-to-be who spent her would-be wedding day sharing her excitement with nurses while in a hospital bed died of COVID-19 just five days after she was set to tie the knot.

Stephanie Lynn Smith, 29, died on Nov. 18, less than a week after she and fiancé Jamie Bassett had planned to get married in the same Lubbock field where he’d proposed a year earlier, according to NBC News.

“Her laugh was so contagious. It was so loud. It was so funny,” her mom Oralia Smith told the outlet. “Always the loudest one at family gatherings.”

Bassett said his fiancée first began feeling sick on Nov. 3, and within days, food began tasting strange, though she did not lose her sense of smell or taste.

Thinking she might have shingles, Smith headed to the doctor, and was given medication. When that didn’t work, she was hospitalized, but sent home after receiving a diagnosis of both COVID and pneumonia, NBC News reported.

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That was on a Monday — by Wednesday, Smith was rushed back to the emergency room after her oxygen levels dipped. It would be the last time her family saw her alive.

“We kissed her and told her we would see her and that she would be OK,” her mom told NBC News.

Bassett, 31, said that nurses did not initially think Smith’s diagnosis was “super severe,” and Smith posted to Facebook about how she was bonding with her nurses by showing them photos of her wedding dress.

“Today was supposed to be my wedding day,” Bassett wrote on Facebook on Nov. 13. “Instead, Stephanie is in the hospital getting her oxygen levels up and I haven’t seen her in two days. This really sucks and I just want everything to not be this way.”

The next day, Smith posted to Facebook, and appeared optimistic about her fight against the virus.

“Not the kind of IV I saw myself on the day after I was supposed to be married…,” she wrote. “But really thank you for all the love. Still will be in here for a couple days but I’m fighting the good fight.”

Three days later, however, she was moved to intensive care, and died the next day, on Nov. 18, according to NBC. Her mom told the outlet that Smith’s death certificate lists COVID-19 as her cause of death.

It's unclear if Smith suffered from any pre-existing medical conditions prior to contracting the virus. People ages 65 and older are at a higher risk of severe illness from coronavirus, as are people with underlying medical conditions, including heart conditions, obesity, diabetes, liver disease and chronic kidney disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Smith was the alumni coordinator at South Plains College in Levelland, and also volunteered with Operation Baby Watch, which provides hospitalized foster children with adult sitters.

Bassett — who first met Smith on a dating app in 2017 — told NBC News that it was her giving spirit that helped convince him she was the one.

"She sat with this girl who had been pretty severely injured and talked to her and let her play with her and sang to her and hugged her," he said. "And when she came back to my apartment after that, she was really, really upset and really, really devastated over what the girl had been through.”

"And I think that was the moment that I was like, 'This is someone that you don't meet every day,'" he added. "This is an uncommonly caring and loving person who just wants to fix the world."

There have been at least 15.4 million confirmed cases of and 289,531 deaths attributed to COVID-19 in the United States, according to The New York Times.

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