As a respiratory therapist, Isabelle Papadimitriou helped others breathe.
She loved her job, her family said. That work may have exposed her to COVID-19.
Papadimitriou died July 4, just days after contracting the coronavirus. Her family believes she was exposed at work.
The Baylor, Scott & White Health respiratory therapist only went to work and remained home when she was off.
“Her guess is that she worked on a patient who had COVID and they found out after the fact. Other people on staff also caught COVID," her daughter, Fiana Tulip, said.
Papadimitriou's obituary blamed politicians for her death.
“Isabelle was a giant, and powerful in her kindness. She made a difference each and every day in many people's lives. And like hundreds and thousands of others, she should still be alive today,” the obituary said.
Tulip wrote Gov. Greg Abbott a letter over the weekend and invited him to her mom’s funeral.
“I invited him so that he can see beyond these numbers that there are real people who are suffering,” Tulip said. "I am angry because I 100% believe that her death could have been prevented."
She believes an earlier mask mandate would have saved her life.
Tulip said the governor's early recommendations for people to wear a mask didn't go far enough to protect people.
“If he had mandated it from the beginning I think this story would be a lot different. I think my mother would absolutely still be alive," she said.
Her mother's obituary said Papadimitriou's death is due to the "carelessness of the politicians who continue to hedge their bets on the lives of health care workers through a lack of leadership, through a refusal to acknowledge the severity of this crisis, and through an inability and unwillingness to give clear and decisive direction on how to minimize the risks of the coronavirus.”
Baylor Scott & White Institute for Rehabilitation released a statement extending "heartfelt condolences to her family, whom she spoke of often with immense pride."
"Isabelle’s passion and devotion for serving others, and the genuine kindness she expressed to those she encountered, will be deeply missed," the institute statement said.
Tulip grieves that her 1-year-old daughter will not get the chance to know her grandmother.
Papadimitriou sent Lua little pink shoes just days before her death.
“The way that she loved my daughter was everything to me,” Tulip said.
“As much as I love talking about her, and sharing her story, I wish it didn’t have to be this way,” Tulip said. “My daughter is just going to miss out on knowing my mother who was just a very giving, very loving, very kind soul.”