RIEGELWOOD, NC (WWAY) — A college student from the Cape Fear region lost her battle with COVID-19 Thursday. Now, her family is speaking out.
23-year-old Jamesha Waddell grew up in Columbus County, and was a senior at Livingstone College about to graduate in December.
Her uncle, Terry Waddell, says she had a bright future. She wanted to be a detective.
“I remember she told me, she liked what she saw on TV when she watching CSI,” Waddell said. “Every time she talks about that show, CSI.”
“If something’s going on, Mesha’s gonna get to the bottom of it,” Jamesha’s cousin Mitchetta Murphy said. “So her wanting to be a detective came as no surprise.”
In September, Jamesha’s hopes and dreams were put on hold. She left school with extreme aches and pains and positive coronavirus test. To keep her family safe, she quarantined away from them in a hotel.
However, the aches, cough, and chills got so bad, her Grandfather Norva Waddell says she had to check into the hospital.
“And I prayed, I really prayed, for God to let her live,” Waddell said. “But he said, Mesha belongs to me. I said God, but I love her. He said I love her more.”
Her family says with no preexisting conditions, Jamesha died in the intensive care unit.
Her grandmother Janice Waddell is still on oxygen from her battle with coronavirus, and says she prayed everyday for God to choose her instead of her granddaughter.
“I protected her, or tried to,” Janice said. “And I always told her to keep God first in her life. And she did. So when God said it was time for her to go, I knew he’d pick my rose, because Mesha was my rose.”
“You know, they teach you not to question God,” Murphy says, “But it’s hard, you know when it comes as a surprise…death is hard to deal with period. But when it’s somebody so young, somebody who did everything right, you know, it’s hard not to question.”
Waddell says they’re pushing through their pain to tell the community Jamesha’s story, so her death won’t be in vain.
“Let my niece be a reminder, that this thing is for real,” Waddell said.
Her family says Jamesha wanted to make an impact, but never thought this would be how it would happen.