Memphis woman, 24, dies of coronavirus after traveling for birthday party

Lameisha Polk was in good health, her mother says

(Credit: screenshot)

A 24-year-old Memphis woman has become the latest casualty of COVID-19 and now her grieving family is urging everyone to take coronavirus seriously.

Lameisha Polk traveled to Atlanta with her best friends two weeks ago for a birthday party. Soon after, she entered a hospital and was diagnosed with coronavirus, Fox 13 reported.

Read More: 11-year-old boy becomes youngest patient to die of coronavirus in Florida

(Credit: GoFundMe)

“My daughter came to Atlanta with her two best friends,” Carla Polk Rubin, Polk’s mother, said. “For one of their birthdays. When she got there. She started complaining that her stomach was upset.”

Polk checked into the hospital the very next day and tested positive for COVID-19. Within days, her condition went from bad to worse.

“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.

After the phone call, Polk went into cardiac arrest, suffered blood clots and stopped breathing for four minutes. Her vital organs and kidney shut down as a result. The doctors declared her brain dead but placed on life support at a hospice so that loved ones could visit.

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

Polk died on Thursday and struggled in her final moments.

“She was breathing so hard,” Rubin said. “I mean using every muscle in her body. Something you never want to see.”

Polk’s brother attempted to say his goodbyes through FaceTime but she passed away before he had the chance.

“He said sister girl, she was making a gurgling sound,” she said. “And when I turned the camera to her, I didn’t hear that anymore and that quick she was already gone.”

Rubin is now pleading with others to take this virus seriously and not think of themselves as immune from its impact.

“Please, please, you’re not invincible to this virus,” she said. “This virus is real: it’s dangerous.”

Read More: Florida coronavirus cases hit 10,000 in a day, sets new record

The family will hold a vigil for Polk on Friday and have created a GoFundMe as a way that others can offer support. They owe $100,000 in hospital bills and Polk’s health insurance had not yet kicked in as part of her new job.

Subscribe to theGrio’s Dear Culture podcast on Spotify, Apple and Stitcher.