UCSB student Katherine Yuhas died on April 29 in her home in Isla Vista. She was 20 years old.
The cause of death has yet to be determined. The third-year student was enrolled in the Honors Program and was in the process of declaring a business economics major. Her peers described her as intelligent, benevolent and vivacious.
Yuhas was born and raised in San Francisco as the youngest of four daughters. From an early age, doctors warned Yuhas’ family of her genetic predisposition toward forming blood clots. During her freshman year at UCSB, she was briefly hospitalized after a clot was found in her leg.
According to her roommate Rebekah Dunn, Yuhas was put on blood thinners for six months to prevent further clotting following this hospitalization.
“She was put on Coumadin, a medicine that will thin your blood out so it won’t clot,” Dunn said. “The doctors took her off of it after a while though, because apparently it was bad for her body.”
As she had been cleared of all medical problems of that nature for a year, Yuhas’ sudden death came as a complete shock to those around her.
Dunn said Yuhas was an energetic individual who always tried to make those around her smile.
“She was beautiful both inside and out,” Dunn said. “She had an amazingly enthusiastic personality, was always happy, always excited and always smiling. Her smile was infectious. She always got everyone organized for events and just wanted everyone to have fun.”
Sam Mohamadi, Yuhas’ boyfriend of two years, said she was an individual who cared a great deal about the well-being of others and had expressed a possible interest in attending law school after graduation.
“She had a law internship at the public defenders office in Santa Barbara,” Mohamadi said. “She enjoyed working at the office where they would defend people who can’t afford lawyers in court.”
According to her friends, Yuhas was always cheerful and an uplifting spirit.
“She was always having fun, always outgoing, always lived for today,” Mohamadi said. “She had a bracelet that said ‘live the life you love and love the life you live.’ She was happy every day. I truly believe that she lived her life to fit that motto.”
Yuhas is survived by her family in Moraga, Calif. A public candlelight vigil will be held in her memory in the park on the corner of Del Playa Drive and Camino Corto this Saturday, May 8, at 7:30 p.m.