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'I never pictured me burying my child': Mom mourns VA teen who died from COVID-19 complications

Schwanda Corprew.png
Posted at 11:16 AM, Aug 06, 2021

NORFOLK, Va. — A mother is mourning the loss of her daughter after she died of complications from COVID-19.

Schwanda Corprew, 17, was preparing to start her senior year at Booker T. Washington High School in Norfolk, Virginia. The Virginia Department of Health confirms that she is the first child death from COVID-19 in the eastern part of the state.

Schwanda's mother, Sherell Corprew, says her daughter was complaining of a headache before she died.

"I never pictured me burying my child," Sherell Corprew said.

Corprew says her daughter died on Friday.

"She was like, "Ma, I'm tired.' I said, 'Schwanda, if you're tired, go to sleep.' Usually, when someone says they're 'tired,' usually that means tired, and they go to sleep," Corprew said. "I left and went to go pick up my check. I left, and my baby was in the house dead."

She says she called the paramedics when her daughter wasn't responsive.

"From the way she was laying there with her eyes open, and when I looked at her nails, they were purple," Corprew said. "They tried to bring her back, but I knew there was no bringing her back because you could look at her and tell she was already fully gone."

Corprew says her daughter wasn't herself the day she died.

"The day of, she started being really weird," she said. "She kept saying, 'Ma, I want to go home — I'm not home.' I'm like, 'You are home...what are you talking about?'"

Corprew says her daughter didn't have any pre-existing conditions and was planning to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

"It was so crazy because I had already made her an appointment for Tuesday to go get a COVID shot," Corprew said.

Corprew says she believes her daughter could have contracted the virus from her summer camp.

"She had been going to this camp for a like a month or two months," she said. "Come to find out there were some other kids that got sick there, too. I don't know if she got sick being in there or them taking them to different field trips."

The family says Schwanda loved going to school and had a great heart.

"I miss her because she stayed with me every weekend. It felt funny not having her this weekend," Schwanda's grandmother said.

The Corprew family set up a GoFundMefor Schwanda's funeral costs.

Norfolk Public Schools said they are "extremely saddened to learn of the passing of Schwanda Corprew." The school district says their thoughts and prayers are with the Corprew family.

Norfolk Public Schools Statement on Schwanda Corprew's death

This story was originally published by Leondra Head on Scripps station WTKR in Norfolk, Virginia.