Texas: A 70-year-old nurse who left retirement to teach future frontline workers during the pandemic has died of Covid-19 complications after being exposed to the virus in one of her lessons, reports have said.
Iris Meda, who retired as a nurse in January, returned to a teaching role after the coronavirus hit, The Washington Post reported.
Ms Meda began teaching nursing to students at a community college in Dallas, Texas, as well as high school students earning dual-credit, NBC 5 reported.
“She felt like if she could gain momentum by teaching some of those basics, we could contain any virus,” her daughter, Selene Meda-Schlamel told The Post.
“She wanted to do something that would make a difference.”
The 70-year-old was exposed to Covid-19 in October during a class that prevented Ms Meda from socially-distancing from her students, the newspaper reported.
She started showing symptoms two days after she learned the student had tested positive on 9 October, President H Neil Matkin said, according to the outlet.
Ms Meda was hospitalised on 17 October but her condition worsened and she was placed on a ventilator, her daughter said. She died of heart failure on 14 November.
“She was hopeful that she would get out of it because her last words were ‘I’m going to fight. I’m New York strong,'” her daughter said.
Ms Meda, who moved from Charleston, South Carolina, to Harlem at the age of seven, dropped out of high school but went on to earn her GED diploma and eventually became a registered nurse, her daughter said.
“Just to see this amazing, vivacious woman ... so willing to put her life on the line to help others so they could then help others, to see her languishing there,” said Ms Meda-Schlamel. “It was such a tragedy.”
After Ms Meda retired as a nursing clinic administrator with the North Texas Job Corps she had planned to travel with her husband and reconnect with siblings.
A GoFundMe page to help the family cover funeral and medical expenses and a scholarship fund has been set up and has raised half of its $40,000 goal.