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

Schwanda Corprew was the first COVID-19 child death in Eastern Virginia
Schwanda Corprew.png
Posted at 9:44 PM, Aug 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-06 10:50:15-04

NORFOLK, Va. - A Norfolk teenager who attended Booker T. Washington High School has died from complications of COVID-19. The Virginia Department of Health confirms that this is the first child death from the virus in the Eastern region of the state.

The mother of 17-year-old Schwanda Corprew says her daughter was complaining of a headache before she died.

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

Sherell says Schwanda died Friday.

“She was like, “Ma, I’m tired.’ I said, 'Schwanda, if you’re tired, go to sleep.' Usually when someone says they 'tired,' usually that means tired, and they go to sleep. I left and went to go pick up my check. I left, and my baby was in the house dead,” Corprew tells News 3 reporter Leondra Head.

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. 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.”

Sherell says her daughter wasn’t herself the day she died.

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

Sherell 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.”

She 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. 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," Sherell said.

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 grandma said.

Schwanda would have been a senior at Booker T. this year.

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

News 3 reached out to Norfolk Public Schools and they sent us this statement, saying 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