Summary: With the coronavirus pandemic raging all around her, a woman continued to show up for work – until the deadly virus caught up with her too.
The incident: As the coronavirus was decimating East Baton Rouge Parish in Louisiana, Shonda Brown continued to work at the Taco Bell in Denham Springs, LA.
Friends weren’t surprised. After all, Brown was a 46-year-old bundle of energy who worked multiple jobs and spent most of her free time cooking meals for the hungry and homeless.
Brown continued to work despite the risks because she knew that her family – her husband and her two sons – needed the paycheck. Plus, she liked to work.
Even after she was found groggy and incoherent in the bathroom of the restaurant, Brown insisted that she was fine and didn’t need to go to the hospital.
The response: Shortly after Brown arrived in an ambulance at Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center, doctors learned that her blood sugar levels were high, and her oxygen levels were low. She also tested positive for COVID-19. She was placed on a ventilator.
For nine days, Brown struggled to survive, but eventually, her body gave way, and she died.
The aftermath: When Brown’s sister Raynesia Brown heard that Shonda was sick, she immediately traveled from Georgia to Louisiana to be with her sibling. At the hospital, Raynesia convinced the nurses to let her put on goggles, a gown and booties and stand beside Shonda.
About a half hour after Raynesia arrived, Shonda’s heart stopped beating.
“At least I was able to be beside her before she passed away,” said Raynesia. “I feel as though she waited for me.”
(From the Oct. 19, 2020, issue of Safety Alert for Supervisors. To download the current issue of the publication right now, please click here.)