A fit-and-healthy young student who caught Covid-19 only days before Christmas has died after the virus "ate her through".
Sarah Simental died within days of being infected with the killer bug, her heartbroken family have revealed.
The high school senior, from Chicago, US, had told her now-grieving mum that she would miss her over the festive period.
Mourning mother Deborah told ABC: "She called me up crying to say that, you know, 'Mom, I’m going to miss Christmas'.
"And I had to reassure her that it’s just a day on the calendar, and when she comes home, 'We’ll do Christmas with you.' Unfortunately, she didn’t [leave the hospital]."
The 18-year-old woman had no health problems before she felt worse for wear with a headache and a sore throat on December 23.
She felt so ill that she was taken to hospital, where her condition worsened to the point she had to be flown to the University of Chicago, according to reports.
Sarah died on Boxing Day, leaving her family shattered.
Deborah said: "It literally just ate her through. And no parent should ever have to watch their child go through that."
Her father, Don Simental, told ABC: "I have no words for it. I just can’t believe how fast that it progressed."
Coronavirus numbers in the United States make stark reading, as the first recorded case of the UK variant was recorded this week.
A Colorado patient contracted the mutated virus and had shown no prior health conditions or travel history before catching it.
The US has recorded more than 19.46m cases of the coronavirus, more than any other country.
In some parts of the country, including Los Angeles, hospitals have found themselves overwhelmed, forcing them to turn away ambulances.
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