18-Year-Old Dies After Falling Ill With COVID-19 for 2nd Time, Loved Ones Say

Wilber Portillo (GoFundMe)
Wilber Portillo (GoFundMe)

An 18-year-old has died after contracting COVID-19 for a second time, according to his family and friends. Wilber Portillo, who lives in Denver, Colorado, initially came down with the coronavirus months after the pandemic began, his uncle told the Denverite.

He had gone on a business trip to Los Angeles and had it when he returned. It took him two months to recover from the his first bout with the illness, according to his family. His girlfriend, Andrea Ferrel, told KDVR that Portillo had just started getting better when he contracted COVID for a second time after attending a party.

“He had about a week of COVID-free before getting sick again," Ferrel told the station.

Ferrel told KDVR that Portillo went to the doctor's office on Nov. 18, where he was told he had a "really strong infection in his lungs" and doctors told him to take over-the-counter pain medication. He died in his sleep, his uncle told the Denverite.

His COVID-19 test came back positive days after his death, according to his family.

"It's a little bit difficult to know that he doesn't exist physically anymore," Castillo told Denverite. "He was a guy with a lot of light.”

Portillo’s family created a GoFundMe to raise funds to send his remains back to El Salvador, where his family is located. It has garnered more than $13,000, and the campaign has since been ended.

"If there's anything we would like for you to remember Wilber by is, BE THE BEST YOU. This was his motto, be the best you, live life to the fullest. We also hope to seek awareness that COVID-19 is to be taken serious. No matter how young or healthy you may seem,” the GoFundMe read.

The CDC has said that re-infection with COVID-19 has been reported, but “remain rare.”

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