“Linda was the life of the party – like my sister,” Big Ang’s sister Janine Detore tells PEOPLE
Big Ang star Linda Torres
Credit: Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images

Big Ang star Linda Torres died on Thursday after being diagnosed with COVID-19. She was 67.

Torres was Angela "Big Ang" Raiola's friend and appeared on her VH1 reality show as well as made cameos on Mob Wives.

She died at Staten Island University Hospital after contracting COVID and being placed on a ventilator, Big Ang's sister Janine Detore tells PEOPLE.

"Linda was the life of the party – like my sister. Very fun to be around, not negative, just wanted to have a fun time," Detore says of her friend. "I get so sad to know that she's gone now."

She adds, "I absolutely love Linda. She's fabulous." 

Big Ang star Linda Torres
Credit: Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images

Detore says Torres was in the hospital for nine weeks before doctors decided to take her off the ventilator. 

"She was placed on a ventilator then they took off the ventilator," Detore reveals. "She really was fighting, but I guess she couldn't really battle it. It was too much."

The Big Ang star had breast cancer and while recovering from surgery to implant a chemo port, she developed a fever and had to return to the hospital, according to Detore. Once back at the hospital, Torres tested positive for the virus. 

"She went back to the hospital thinking she had an infection," Detore says. "She had a fever. They found out she had COVID."

Torres is survived by her daughter Jaimie and two grandchildren – a boy and a girl.

TMZ was the first to report the news. 

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"Rest In Peace my friend ♥️ you'll be missed 😔," Detore wrote on Instagram. 

Detore added that she considered Torres part of her family.

"We love you always," she said. "Angela take care of @blondelindavh1 #onlythegooddieyoung."

Big Ang died in Feb. 2016 from lung and brain cancer at age 55.

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