Summary: A woman who worked as a nurse for 35 years couldn’t bear to watch her fellow nurses die from COVID-19, so she came out of retirement to join in their fight.
The incident: After working for 35 years as a registered nurse, Iris Meda of Melissa, TX, decided it was time to retire. Shortly after she left the workforce, however, the coronavirus pandemic began to accelerate. Meda felt that she couldn’t sit home while her fellow nurses were dying from the disease, so she took a job teaching in-person nursing classes at Collin College.
Even though she wore a mask while teaching her students, Meda came into close contact with a student who was contagious with the coronavirus.
A few days later, Meda began to experience the symptoms of COVID-19. Then she tested positive for the deadly disease.
The response: As her condition deteriorated, Meda was admitted to the hospital. She received transfusions and the drug remdesivir, but her health continued to get worse.
Exactly one month after she tested positive for COVID-19, Meda died.
The aftermath: Meda, 70, left behind her husband, John, a daughter and four grandchildren.
“She was doing what she loved,” said her daughter, Selene Meda-Schlamel. “Despite the risks, she was living life to the fullest, trying to prepare future nurses for this country.”
Meda’s family set up a GoFundMe page to raise funds for a scholarship in her name. Said one person who donated to the fund, “The light of Iris continues to shine brightly and her servant heart, which carried her to help others, reverberates inside those angels of mercy taught by Iris. RIP angel Iris.”
(From the Jan. 19, 2021, issue of Safety Alert for Supervisors. To sign up for a no-obligation trial subscription right now, please click here.)