A trainer in El Paso, Texas, who gained nationwide consideration in 2018 when she posted a heartwarming video of her college students hugging one another has died after a two-month battle with COVID-19, in line with experiences.
Zelene Blancas, 35, a bilingual trainer at Dr. Sue A. Shook Elementary School, died Monday after spending 9 weeks in an ICU after contracting the sickness, ABC News reported.
“She always made an effort to share kindness, whether it was with a message or a note or just reaching out to her colleagues,” Principal Cristina Sanchez-Chavira instructed the community. “Just a very, very loving person.”
Blancas made headlines two years in the past with the viral video of her first-graders, who selected from a “good morning or goodbye” menu to offer one another hugs, handshakes, high-fives or fist bumps.
“What a nice way to end our week!!” she wrote within the publish.
Blancas instructed the El Paso Times that she needed the children to really feel like they “have a safe place to come back to and learn in a safe environment.”
Sanchez-Chavira instructed ABC News that the beloved trainer’s “small action touched so many lives.”
She added: “The kids felt so comfortable. You could see how loving they were — that came through in her video. And that I attribute to the culture she established in her class, that loving culture.”
Blancas, who examined constructive for COVID-19 on Oct. 20, had proven indicators of restoration and was taking steps on her personal earlier than her situation worsened and she or he was intubated on Nov. 22, her brother Mario Blancas instructed CNN.
The in any other case wholesome lady by no means got here off the ventilator earlier than dying, he stated.
“She was like my Wonder Woman,” Blancas instructed the outlet. “She was my backbone, and she was like my second mother even though we are only four years apart.”
He added: “Even though sometimes being a teacher is kind of tough … she always looked at the positive way. I didn’t know until now, but she was a walking angel.”
The late trainer’s video drew the eye of PinkSocks Life co-founder Nick Adkins, whose group seeks to unfold kindness by giving out pink socks.
Last 12 months, he related together with her at hand out over 1,330 pink socks to college students at her faculty throughout a “kindness pep rally.”
Blancas “was just a bundle of kindness and joy and love,” Adkins instructed ABC News.
“We try to celebrate people and organizations that are doing good things,” he added. “I’m grateful for the legacy that she’s left behind.”
Once the varsity resumes in-person studying, the principal stated she hopes to honor Blancas with a “kindness corner” — for a “constant reminder of her and her kindness.”
“It’s very easy to find teachers that can teach,” Sanchez-Chavira instructed ABC News. “But to find teachers that carry this passion and love for children, and the spreading of kindness, that in itself is irreplaceable.”