The surgery, in April, was routine: Gleycy Correia was having her tonsils removed.
“We are deeply saddened by this loss,” family pastor Lidiane Alves told The Washington Post. “She was an amazing woman and much loved by everyone. It won’t be easy to live without her smile and shine.”
The tonsils, two lymph nodes at the back of the throat, help filter out bacteria to prevent infection in the body. They are removed to treat breathing problems that interfere with sleep and sometimes recurring infections. The tonsillectomy, once common, is generally an outpatient procedure performed under general anesthesia. It’s considered a relatively safe and routine operation; estimates of mortality range from 1 death per 10,000 to 1 per 40,000.
Correia, a model, beautician and influencer with more than 56,000 followers on Instagram, was an evangelical Christian who posted often about God and her faith. Born in Macaé, a city on Brazil’s Atlantic coast 120 miles northeast of Rio de Janeiro, she worked from an early age.
“We will never know how strong we are until being strong is the only choice,” she wrote in one Instagram post, according to the Daily Mail. “I really wasn’t born in a golden cradle, I’m from a very humble family, but I’m so proud of it, really proud.”
Correia was buried Tuesday surrounded by family and friends.
“God chose this day to collect our princess,” wrote Pastor Jak Abreu, a family friend. “We know that she will be greatly missed, but she will now be brightening the sky with her smile. She fulfilled her purpose and left her legacy of love in us!”
Correia was known for working on social projects at her church, especially one focused on helping women affected by breast cancer.
“Gleycy will always be remembered for her enlightened beauty, joy and empathy shown in her work,” Brazil’s National Beauty Pageant wrote on Instagram.
“My heart is in pieces,” Alves wrote. “That smile I received every end of the service with a hug and an I love you, beautiful pastor.”
Followers have left hundreds of condolence messages on her Instagram account. The final post, by her family, shows an illustration of a smiling Correia embracing Jesus with a quote from the New Testament Book of Timothy:
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”