Dad says 24 year-old daughter coronavirus death was caused by her morbid obesity

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Dad says 24 year-old daughter coronavirus death was caused by her morbid obesity

A grieving dad thinks his daughter’s morbid obesity is to blame for her death from coronavirus at the age of just 24. Marcos Melendez has ditched soda, no longer eats after 6pm, and is doing more exercise after 300-pound daughter Silvia died of Covid-19 in March. His wife Silvia Sr has also adopted a healthy lifestyle in the wake of their tragic loss.

The couple’s late daughter, from West Valley City in Utah, had a body mass index (BMI) of 60, double the number considered to be obese, with anything over 40 considered morbidly obese.

Silvia Jr suffered Type 2 diabetes, hypertension and a heart condition that saw her undergo open heart surgery two years ago. All those conditions put Silvia at a much greater risk of serious illness or death from coronavirus, with her mom, dad and brothers now convinced her weight contributed to her untimely passing.

Marcus told USA Today: ‘That virus goes after the weakest thing in your body, especially if you are overweight.

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‘The coronavirus was making big damage in her lungs and after that, the virus went to her heart. She was responding good with oxygen, and then the virus started attacking her heart. It went the other way in a big way.’

After she was admitted to hospital in March, Silvia Jr appeared to be responding well to oxygen treatment, only to suffer a sudden and fatal decline. Silvia Jr was so heavy that intensive care staff were unable to place her flat on her stomach while she lay on her bed. The technique has been adopted for coronavirus patients as it allows them to use the least-damaged part of their lungs, and makes them less reliant on a ventilator, which causes considerable damage to a patient’s body.

When doctors and nurses moved Silvia Jr, she struggled to breathe just after a few minutes. Patients who respond well to the technique are left on their chests for up to 17 hours a day. Dr Jeanette Brown, who treated Silvia at the University of Utah Health hospital said: ‘We had to flip to her back and try not to lose the airway.

‘She wasn’t able to tolerate more than a few minutes.’

Marcus’s wife, also called Silvia, began dieting shortly before Silvia Jr’s hospital admission, and has kept her new regime up. Silvia Sr also battled coronavirus in hospital, but overcame the virus. Marcus said: ‘I’m really scared about her too.’

The grieving dad is keen to remember the daughter he loved, as well as the horrific way she died, saying; ‘I don’t have words to say how beautiful and nice to the family she was.’

An increasing number of studies are confirming the link between obesity and Covid-19 deaths. Anyone with a BMI over 40 is more likely to require intensive care treatment for coronavirus as a direct result of their weight, scientists say.

That same condition also makes it harder for doctors to treat them, and insert a ventilator into their lungs should they suffer from respiratory failure. A worrying 42% of Americans are now obese, with public health experts urging doctors to use the coronavirus pandemic as a way of highlighting the importance of a healthy lifestyle.

Coronavirus has so far infected 1.6million Americans, and killed over 96,000 people across the United States.

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