Homewood teacher, 39, dies of COVID-19 after months in hospital

HOMEWOOD, Ill. (WLS) -- A Homewood teacher has died after a months-long battle with COVID-19.

Cherie Garza, 39, was hospitalized at Loyola University Medical Center since mid-July. Her parents said she wasn't vaccinated yet, but had planned on getting her shots before returning to teach at Crete-Monee Middle School.

"Before they put the chest tube in, they called us in and they said she was near the end, she had a 1.1% chance of survival," said Gene Kiepura, her father, before she was intubated in August. "She asked her, 'Doctor, what would you do if this was your sister?' and she said, 'I would fight.'"

Garza underwent multiple surgeries while hospitalized, but her father told ABC7 Eyewitness News she died Monday.
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