NC college students mourn loss of senior who died from COVID-19 complications

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SALISBURY, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) – Staff and students at Livingstone College spoke to FOX 46 on Friday about the loss of one of their own.

Jamesha Waddell, 23, died on Thursday, Nov. 19, from COVID-19 complications. 

She was a Criminal Justice major at Livingstone College. Her friends say she was ‘a light’ on campus. 

“She was the life of the school, literally,” said Carlee Patterson, student body president. 

Waddell, just 23-years-old, passed away from Pneumonia and COVID-19, the school confirmed.

Her sisters spoke with FOX 46 this week saying the college senior was recovering after testing positive in September. On Friday, staff and students remembered her. 

“I would come to class just like ugh, I’m over it. Jamesha saying, ‘Miss Patterson…’ it would always bring the light back in me, so it’s very sad and hurtful. It brings a void on the campus,” said Patterson.

Waddell’s family had the virus at the same time. On Friday, Livingstone officials say they don’t know where she got sick.

“The college had very aggressive testing protocol from the very beginning. All of our students, faculty, and staff were tested because we were trying to discover asymptomatic spreaders. She tested negative at the beginning of September,” said Chief Operating Officer Dr. Anthony J. Davis.  

The campus reports 18 students tested positive for COVID-19 since September, only 2 percent of the campus population. The campus president offers prayers to Waddell’s family. 

“We don’t always understand why things happen the way they do but we have to believe that all things work for good for those who love him and are called to his purpose,” said Jimmy R. Jenkins. 

Early Friday, students held a balloon release in Waddell’s honor. She was a Resident Assistant and a member of several criminal justice clubs. 

“Someone that you see day in and day out and someone that is in your age range catches the virus and not only catches it but passes away. Death, puts so many things in general into perspective,” said Senior Class President Autumnreign Bush. 

The school will host a vigil for Waddell on Monday at “The Bear.”

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