Veronica Jimenez lived to take care of others.
She was raised in Queens, and lived in Whitestone while she worked part time at a women's outreach center in Brentwood, Long Island. She was also close to earning a Master's degree in psychology and mental health. She was set to graduate in June. Her plan was to pursue her Ph.D. and become a certified drug counselor, maybe open her own clinic.
Her fiancé, Edwin Paulino, said all she wanted was to help others.
"She was a person who was so full of life," he said. "She wanted to help people who were less fortunate than she was."
Coronavirus robbed her of that future.
Paulino said Jimenez was feeling sick for a couple of days but didn't mention it to anyone. On Saturday, April 7, she took a turn for the worse and called for an ambulance. On the way, her heart gave out. She never made it to the hospital.
"It hurts," Paulino said.
The 28-year old leaves behind her devastated mom, Monica, and her father, Jairo – who is also battling coronavirus. She also leaves behind a sister, Vanessa, who lives in Florida.
Paulino and Jimenez were a couple for four-and-a-half years.
"What didn’t she love?" he said. "She loved Harry Potter and watching movies and rock music. She loved going to casinos. She loved being outdoors. She would say, 'Let's just get in the car and go for a drive.' She loved to travel."
She also loved the French bulldog they bought together, Marley. She said he was like her son.
Marley is now keeping Paulino company as he grieves for the woman he was going to marry.
"She was loved by a lot of people," he said. "How can I put it? I loved her. She was my best friend."