‘COVID-19 is serious’: Sister of local student who died from virus complications urging everyone to follow guidelines

Updated: Nov. 21, 2020 at 11:14 PM EST
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - The sister of a local college student who died from complications related to COVID-19 is urging everyone to follow guidelines.

“It’s sad a lady had to die at 23 for people to realize COVID-19 is serious,” said Jamira Waddell.

Jamira’s sister, Jamesha, died Thursday after a near 2-month battle with the virus.

“Don’t just go any and everywhere thinking it is okay not to wear a mask, not wash your hands, not stand six feet apart. Don’t be in a place with more than 10 people. It is not okay, this thing is killing people,” she said.

She also says it doesn’t seem real that her sister is dead.

“Still a shock, it’s like she didn’t die. It’s like a dream,” Jamira Waddell said. “I watch my mother cry six times a day because she has lost a child. I cry, my grandma cries, my grandfather cries and my father also cries. It’s not normal to lose someone at this age to a virus.”

As more Americans make plans for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, Jamira Waddell is hoping everyone keeps the plans small -- if any.

“Only need to have immediate family. No friends, extra cousins because that brings on more than 10 people,” she said.

She says her sister took precautions but someone around her possibly passed the virus on. Jamesha Waddell had attended a gathering but it is unclear where she contracted COVID-19.

Her and multiple family members tested positive in September.

“Last memory I seen of her was I dropped off her food. She said, ‘Are you good?’ I said, ‘Yeah, I’m good...just making sure you good.’ That’s the last time I saw my sister without being in a coma,” Jamira Waddell said.

The Livingstone College senior was set to graduate next month. A dream accomplished, her two sisters and family, will never get to see.

“She was so looking forward to her career. I’m just going to miss I didn’t get to see my sister walk across this graduation stage,” Jamira Waddell added.

Students at Livingstone College are planning a candlelight vigil for Monday on campus.

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