A South Carolina mother has reportedly died from complications of COVID-19 less than three weeks after her daughter also lost her life to the disease.
57-year-old Shirley Bannister was the nursing department chair at Midlands Technical College and tested positive for the coronavirus on September 7. That same day, her daughter Demetria “Demi” Bannister, died.
Shirley Mills Bannister, the mother’s sister-in-law, told news station WISTV that Shirley made three separate trips to the hospital and complained of symptoms before finally being admitted.
“I just heard her saying, ‘Shirley…they won’t test us, they won’t let me get any treatment because they say that my symptoms are not severe enough and I need treatment,” the relative said.
Bannister’s death has been felt by the entire Columbia, South Carolina community as she was very popular with the school community where she worked.
“My heart is broken. Shirley was like an angel on Earth,” Midlands Technical College President Dr. Ronald Rhames said in a statement. “Her life mission was caring for others. While her death is devastating, her impact is everlasting.”
Rhames also revealed that Bannister earned her nursing degree from the school where she worked. She also taught at the institution and rose to chair the school’s nursing department.
Demetria Bannister was a third-grade teacher at Windsor Elementary school, also in Columbia. She passed away just three days after being diagnosed with the coronavirus.