Stephanie Smith, a 29-year-old Texas woman who was expecting to celebrate her wedding day last month, ended up dying in the hospital of COVID-19 just five days after she was set to say "I do."
Smith, a college alumni coordinator from Lubbock, planned to tie the knot with her fiancé Jamie Bassett in an outdoor wedding November 13, the site of which was the same place he'd proposed to her a year before. Unfortunately, it was not to be.
According to NBC, Bassett reported his bride-to-be started feeling ill on November 3, but wasn't having any COVID-specific symptoms. By November 7, however, food began to taste strange to her and she went to see the doctor.
Smith, who had battled shingles before, thought she might be facing another round of that particular condition. Her mom was worried that she was simply over-stressed about the upcoming wedding. When things didn't get better after her doctor's visit, though, Bassett took Smith to the hospital. There, she was diagnosed with COVID-19 and pneumonia, and was sent home to rest, according to Bassett.
Smith slept for hours at home and was reportedly unable to eat much or keep her food down. Instructed to monitor her oxygen levels, Bassett rushed her back to the hospital two days later when her levels fell low.
"We kissed her and told her we would see her and that she would be OK," her mom told NBC. But that would be the last time they saw her alive.
Heartbreakingly, Smith tried to keep her spirits high in the hospital. On November 15, she shared to social media how, although sick, she was still thinking with excitement of her postponed special day, and sharing her anticipation with the nurses who cared for her.
"Thankful today for nurses who pray. And will get giddy for me when I show them a photo of my wedding gown," she wrote.
Just a few days later, she was moved to intensive care, dying the following day.
Bassett and Smith's family members are unsure how she contracted the virus. The heartbroken would-be groom remembered his love as "an uncommonly caring and loving person who just wants to fix the world."
He stated that she always was the type who could be positive and move forward. "That was just her mindset: You can do something to help. If you are willing to look for it," he said.