18-year-old college freshman dies from COVID-19

An 18-year-old college student has died from COVID-19 complications, according to his school and family.

Michael Lang of La Grange, Ill. died Thursday after a “lengthy” battle with the virus, according to the University of Dayton, where he was a freshman.

“Our kid is in a better place, and he’ll be looking down on us,” his dad, Paul Young, told NBC’s “Today Show.” “But he’s 18. He was way too young.”

It wasn’t clear when Lang contracted the virus or how long he was hospitalized. He had returned to his hometown from the college on Sept. 13 for remote learning, according to his school.

Lang spent his summers working at La Grange Country Club, where he enjoyed caddying and golfing, according to his obituary.

Friends and community members held a candlelight vigil for Lang at the school Friday afternoon.

“We extend our deepest sympathy and prayers to his family, friends, professors and our campus community,” university president Eric Spina said in a statement. “The loss of Michael calls our campus community to honor his memory and support those who are affected by his passing.”

The university has seen a total of 1,417 cases since Aug. 10 and currently has 34 active cases as of Monday, according to the school’s dashboard tracking COVID-19 cases on campus.

Lang is at least the third known American college student known to have died from COVID-19 or complications related to the virus, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education.

Jamain Stephens, a 20-year-old football player at the California University of Pennsylvania, and Chad Dorrill, a 19-year-old sophomore studying physical therapy at Appalachian State University in North Carolina, both died from COVID-19 in September, the outlet says.

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