FAIRHAVEN, Mass. (WPRI) — Bubbly and full of life with a big heart. That’s how David Pelletier described Laurie Sylvia – the Fairhaven woman who passed away over the weekend after reportedly contracting the mosquito-borne virus Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE).
Tufts Medical Center confirmed there was an EEE-related death over the weekend. While the hospital didn’t release the patient’s identity, family and friends said it was Sylvia.
Pelletier, who is Sylvia’s boss at a local real estate firm, told Eyewitness News it was scary how it all happened.
He said the virus took her quickly – in about a week’s time. He said Sylvia complained of a headache and fever. She was eventually admitted to the hospital where she passed away.
Teamsters Local 59 posted about Sylvia’s passing on its Facebook page, saying, “It is with great sadness and heavy hearts that we inform you Laurie Sylvia has passed away. All of us here at Teamsters Local 59 extend our sincere and deepest sympathies to Bob and his family.”
The union said Sylvia’s husband, Robert, is the chapter’s president.
Before Laurie Sylvia’s death, the union said she was being treated at Tufts Medical Center in Boston.
“It pains us to inform you that Laurie Sylvia, the wife of Teamsters Local 59 President Robert Sylvia, Jr has been stricken with the EEE Virus,” The union posted Saturday. “For the last several days we were hopeful that with the best possible care from the Doctors and Staff at Tufts Medical Center in Boston, she would be able to recover. We have just learned that this will not be the case. Laurie’s condition has deteriorated and regrettably, the family is now preparing for the worst.”