Memphis mother pleads with young people to take COVID-19 seriously as daughter, 25, nears death

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — As COVID-19 cases continue to climb, especially among young people, a mother is sharing how her daughter went from perfectly healthy to being declared brain dead by doctors within a matter of days.

The woman was only 25 years old.

The Shelby County Health Department said more young people between the ages of 25 and 45 are contracting the novel coronavirus.

On Monday, Fox 13 Memphis spoke to a mother whose 25-year-old daughter is clinging to life.

“I am so hurt, ma’am. I am just so hurt,” Carla Polk Rubin said.

Meanwhile, she waits for the phone call no parent wants to receive.

“I’m just waiting on them to tell me she’s expired due to this corona,” Rubin said.

Rubin’s daughter, Lameisha Polk, is clinging to life after contracting COVID-19.

According to Rubin, Polk went to Atlanta with two friends for one of their birthdays but started complaining of an upset stomach shortly after they arrived, Fox 13 Memphis reported.

The following day, Polk checked into the hospital and tested positive for COVID-19. Within days her health deteriorated.

“She Facetimed me, and her eyes had sunk back in her head, and they had her on oxygen, and she said, ‘Mama I want to come home,’” Rubin said.

Rubin said her daughter went into cardiac arrest shortly after that phone call and her heart stopped for four minutes, causing blood clots to form in her heart and lungs. Polk’s kidneys also failed, and doctors have classified her as brain dead.

“They say because she was heavy it attacked her,” Rubin said. “But she was healthy. Only ever had a sinus infection. Never been sick. Young healthy.”

Rubin and her family have been staying in a hotel in Atlanta for the past three weeks. They were allowed to see Lameisha on Sunday to say their final farewell, Fox 13 Memphis reported.

Rubin said she hopes her daughter’s story may save another person’s life.

“Please, please take this virus seriously,” she said. “Wash your hands, wear a mask and stay in.”

Rubin said Polk had just started a new job, so her insurance had not taken effect. The family already owes $100,000 in hospital bills, and a GoFundMe account has been set up to help cover expenses.


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