CHICAGO — Staff at the Field Museum are mourning the death of a colleague who died from complications linked to COVID-19.
Mario Trujillo and Lynika Strozier dated for nearly eight years.
“There was a not one thing not to love about the woman she woke up with so much positivity,” Trujillo said.
In mid-May, Strozier got sick with a cough. By the first week of June, her symptoms got worse. Trujillo said she got to the point where she said she couldn’t breathe and said her heart was beating too fast — she also had a heart condition.
On June 5, Trujillo took his girlfriend to Weiss Memorial Hospital. Two days later, he got a phone call that she had died from COVID-19 complications.
Trujillo said he’s still in shock.
Strozier, 35, had accomplished a great deal in her life. She was born with a learning disability and went on to earn two simultaneous masters degrees from the University of Illinois at Chicago and Loyola University in science education and biology. She then went on to work at the Field Museum, in a DNA lab.
Museum staff said she had a passion for science, research, teaching and mentorship.
Trujillo wanted to send a message to the community after her death: “Everyone has to be safe this is not a joke. I never thought it would hit this close if anything please just try to save somebody else’s life.”
Family and colleagues of Strozier’s are creating a scholarship in her name, through a GoFundMe page.