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'Virus has changed this world:' Beaumont educator loses COVID-19 battle

Diane Goetschius spent weeks in the hospital, including three weeks on a ventilator

BEAUMONT, Texas — Diane Goetschius is the latest educator to die with COVID-19. Most recently, she taught for Beaumont ISD at Fletcher Elementary. For former students like Sandra Sifuentes, it's a tough loss. 

"She was such a great teacher, she impacted so many students and so much lives. She was honestly an amazing teacher," Sifuentes said. 

Goetschius caught the virus in October, and was hospitalized for more than a month. Those close to her say they were shocked to find out she had COVID-19. 

Debbie Pierson was a longtime friend of Goetschius.

"Her biggest fear was contracting this virus. She was so careful she was the most careful person I've come across," Pierson said. 

Goetschius also had pneumonia. She was place on a ventilator for three weeks. 

"This virus has changed has changed this world. It will never be the same and our lives will never be the same without her," Pierson said. 

While school won't be the same without her, Sifuentes hopes the district takes more steps to protect educators. 

RELATED: Grandson warning other families after his grandmother, BISD employee loses COVID-19 battle

"Someone should have a step back or pause in the day or week and just think about this and just say, 'hey we should have a more thorough plan of how we should protect the employees who are teaching in class,'" Sifuentes said. 

Friends say Goetschius' legacy won't be defined by COVID-19, but by her contributions to those she loved most.  

"She was the epitome of a perfect wife, mother and teacher and she will never be forgotten," Pierson said. 

Funeral service for Goetschius were held on Sunday. A GoFundMe has been set up to support her family in the wake of her death.

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