Two Chicago-area families are heartbroken after their loved ones — both nurses on the front line of the coronavirus pandemic — died from the virus.
Krist Guzman, 35, a mother of three young children, worked at Meadowbrook Manor in suburban Bolingbrook along with her husband, Omar.
"Her husband was upfront with them from the beginning," Kayla Clayton, Krist Guzman's sister said, referring to the couple's children. "They are so smart. They understand what’s going on."
To make matters worse, Omar has also tested positive for the virus and must self-quarantine with their three children.
Jeschelyn Pilar, Krist Guzman’s cousin, said Omar has even talked about changing careers because "he doesn't want to risk not being here" for the couple's children.
Statewide nearly 5,000 health care workers have tested positive for the coronavirus, and at least 25 have died, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.
At Meadowbrook Manor, the facility where Guzman worked, at least 3 deaths and 93 cases have been reported.
Meanwhile, a Chicago nurse who was nearing retirement also died from the virus.
Maria Lopez, 63, an operating nurse for the University of Illinois Health, was working from home just weeks before retirement, but went into the hospital to help and soon tested positive.
Lopez's daughter, who bears the same name, said she wants everyone to know that her mother was a hero.
"She always wanted to care for others, and she felt that the right thing to do was to go into work because her patients needed her," the younger Lopez said.
She also offered a passionate message for the general public amid the coronavirus pandemic.
"People need to take this seriously and stay home as much as possible cause people are risking their lives every single day," Lopez said.