A 17-year-old girl in Lancaster, Texas, has become the city's first coronavirus-related death, KDFW reports.
Jameela Dirrean-Emoni Barber died in the ER on Saturday before she was admitted to the hospital. She was not known to have any underlying health conditions.
“She passed on Saturday,” Lancaster high school principal Eleanor Webb said. “Friday evening, she was on the phone telling her teacher that she didn’t feel well. She was sorry that her assignment was late. But as soon as she felt better, she was going to get her assignment in. We’re talking about an exceptional student. We’re talking about a baby who was in a class of her own.”
She was involved in Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps and was going to be inducted into the National Honor Society.
“She was a leader cadet. She loved ROTC,” Webb said. “That baby was a self-starter, a self-motivator, and we were looking forward to celebrating her induction into the National Honor Society.”
Lancaster ISD Superintendent Dr. Elijah Granger added: "I could tell that she was just someone special and that she was going to do something special in life."
Webb grieved with students and teachers during a schoolwide video chat on Tuesday.
“We needed each other,” she told The Dallas Morning News. “When I got on there with my babies, and I could hear in their voices and see in their faces how devastatingly hurt they were, we all became emotional."
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to her family as they process the loss of their loved one. It is devastating to see the havoc this virus has put on our community both young and old. We will continue to pray for the family and safety of our residents during this difficult time,” Mayor Clyde C. Hairston said in a statement.
Watch KDFW's report on the story below: