By Luli Ortiz
BOCA RATON, Fla. (CBS 12) — Full of life and ready to start nursing school in the fall. The next minute, on life support while doctors tried to save her.
Florida Atlantic University senior and Alpha Xi Delta sorority member, Paulina Chiriboga, 21 of Lantana, died unexpectedly after suffering a brain hemorrhage family said. The student’s sudden death sent shockwaves through the community, especially at FAU. Her best friend Natalia Fiallo said Paulina was a healthy girl and loved helping people.
“She just lit up the room. She knew exactly what to tell you to make you smile,” Natalie Fiallo said.
Paulina loved to give back to helping children with autism. She was going to graduate FAU this year.
“No matter what you were going through, she would bring you flowers, and chocolates, anything just to make you laugh for a second no matter what you were going through,” Natalie said.
Last Friday, Paulina’s friends rushed her to a local hospital after she started feeling sick.
The 21-year-old lost consciousness, and never regained it.
Her father, Carlos Lopez, said she had a brain hemorrhage, a type of stroke which leads to bleeding in or around the brain.
Paulina died on Tuesday.
Paulina Chiriboga, 21, died unexpectedly after suffering a brain hemorrhage, family say. The sudden death of this @FloridaAtlantic student sending shock waves through our community. How loved ones are remembering her & why experts say it’s imp. to learn the warning signs. @CBS12 pic.twitter.com/QVf1SVbW7E— Luli Ortiz (@LuliOrtizTV) January 26, 2018
“It’s something tragic, but I think all of us have taken something from this,” Natalie explained.
Florida Atlantic University, Division of Neurology, Dr. Daniel Kantor said the warning signs of a brain hemorrhage are head trauma, sudden severe headache, and weakness in the arm or leg. He said it’s important to understand the triggers and symptoms. Everyone is at risk for a stroke, but some people are especially vulnerable, like those with high blood pressure.
In the meantime, Natalie will continue to stand by Paulina’s family as they cope with this unexpected tragedy.
“I know that this is something that doesn’t happen every day. This is something that is kind of unexplainable. Science can only go so far, I do have my beliefs in God. That’s what kind of is helping me through all of this,” Natalie said.
Paulina’s funeral is on Saturday.
The school is honoring her life the next day in the Kaye Auditorium at FAU’s Boca campus.
Donations made for Paulina will go to Alpha Xi Delta sorority or Autism Society.
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