18-year-old dies from COVID complications, family says he had it twice


A family in Colorado is suffering the loss of their 18-year-old family member, Wilber Portillo, after they say he died by contracting COVID-19 in November.

According to FOX 31, Portillo’s cousin and girlfriend said the young man contracted and tested positive for the deadly virus two separate times.

The family said the first time he tested positive was at the beginning of October.

However, Portillo’s girlfriend Andrea Ferrel said a second coronavirus test came back positive two days after he died.

“It was devastating not being able to be there for him and support him as much as I could,” Ferrel said.

Portillo visited the doctor on November 18, but unfortunately, he passed away the following day. The doctor allegedly told him that he had an intense infection in his lungs.

Ferrel shared that her boyfriend went to sleep and never woke up the following morning.

“I was very worried I didn’t hear from him the next morning,” Ferrel said.

After testing positive for the virus in October, Portillo felt better and then tested negative. Ferrel said her boyfriend believed he was immune and did not expect to catch COVID-19 again. However, Ferrel said Portillo was still following social distancing guidelines and wearing a mask.

She explained how he quarantined for four weeks, but she said that he became ill again the week after.

“Just because you’re young, you aren’t immune to it, and even though we see more cases with older people and people with health conditions and even people without health conditions, it’s important that you stay home,” Ferrel said.

A GoFundMe was created by Portillo’s cousin and has raised more than $13,000.

“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. Please stay at home as much as you can unless its for essential needs.”

The 18-year-old volunteered at Metro Caring, a local anti-hunger organization, according to its official website. Metro Caring posted a heartfelt message for the young man.

"He loved snowboarding, entrepreneurship, and inspiring others. Wilber Portillo was 18 and infected by COVID when he died November 19. #WeAreMetroCaring #coleg #copolitics #COVID," the caption read.

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