The family of Richardson teen, Sha’Niyah McGee, who died last week from COVID-19 complications, says they are shocked and heartbroken about her death. Richardson ISD announced the death on Monday alongside a teacher at the district.
According to Laurena Ellis, the 16-year-old’s grandmother, Sha’Niyah was diagnosed in early September, but her symptoms were mild. Her family says it did not seem like she was seriously ill. She was not quarantined, they say, nor was she quarantined in her room. Then, she suddenly became extremely ill, passed out, and never woke up. “One day, she came out of her room to get something to drink, go back into the room, and she passed out,” Ellis recalled. “And that was it. She never woke back up.”
Ellis said she wants her granddaughter to be remembered as more than a COVID statistic. “I don’t want my granddaughter to be just another covid number,” she said. “She has a name. Her name is Sha’Niyah. She has a face.”
Sha’Niyah, who is described as a straight-A student, was the oldest of four kids. According to Ellis, her death has her parents devastated. She described her granddaughter’s close relationship with her mom. “Her very best friend was her mother,” she said. “And to watch her mother go through this is the worst pain ever. And I do not wish that on any parent. Any parent.”
Sha’Niyah is part of the small percentage of children who have died from the virus. Her family told Fox 4 that she did not have any pre-existing conditions and that they do not know why she died, but they want people to treat her death as more than a statistic.