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Penn State Student Dies Following Battle With COVID-19

A Penn State student has died as a result of COVID-19-related complications, according to family and social media posts.

Neil Patel, a 20-year-old sixth-semester Schreyer Honors College scholar studying finance, died on Sunday, August 1, following a four-month battle with COVID-19. He is the second known Penn State student to die after contracting the virus.

“The university community shares our deepest condolences with Neil Patel’s friends and family during this difficult time,” a Penn State spokesperson said Monday.

Penn State said it is currently in touch with Patel’s family and offering support to those impacted.

According to a GoFundMe drive created in April, Patel suffered a setback last spring and required ventilator support. He began exhibiting symptoms one day before he was scheduled to get vaccinated. According to his father, Chet, it was too late.

Friends and family helped cross a $75,000 goal to ultimately raise more than $87,000 to aid his recovery at Penn Presbyterian Medical Center in Philadelphia.

“Neil fought his illness like a brave knight…just as I had raised him to be,” Patel’s father wrote on Neil’s GoFundMe page. “We know so many of you prayed for and fought alongside of us with him, and thank you for this. We hope you will once again light the night so he can find his way to his next home.”

Patel’s friends and family said his “passion, drive, talent, [and] love for others before himself” stuck out most. In his free time, Patel enjoyed playing music, performing on stage, traveling, and more.

“This is a young man that has climbed mountains, flown planes, traveled extensively, been on stage, been an incredible student, and yet is humble, considerate, compassionate, and for all that know him, exactly what you would want your son or daughter to be when they grow up — a breath of fresh air when he walks into any room,” the page’s description reads.

Counseling through Penn State’s Counseling & Psychological Services is available from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, at (814) 863-0395. Penn State’s 24-hour crisis line can be reached by calling 1-(877) 229-6400.

Our condolences go out to Patel’s family and friends during this difficult time.

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About the Author

Matt DiSanto

Matt proudly served as Onward State’s managing editor for two years until graduating from Penn State with distinction in May 2022. Now, he’s off in the real world doing real things. Send him an email ([email protected]) or follow him on Twitter (@mattdisanto_) to stay in touch.

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