70-year-old nurse who came out of retirement to teach during pandemic dies of COVID

November 24, 2020
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A 70-year-old woman who came out of retirement to teach nursing has died after contracting COVID-19 from a student.

Iris Meda from Northern Texas retired as a nursing clinic administrator with the North Texas Job Corps back in January, according to the Washington Post.

When coronavirus hit back in March of this year, Meda felt a responsibility to return to work and stand on the front lines of the pandemic.

Despite the additional risk of COVID-19 for her age group, Meda began training young students at Collin College in suburban Dallas who might someday battle the virus.

“She felt like if she could gain momentum by teaching some of those basics, we could contain any virus,” her daughter, Selene Meda-Schlamel, told the outlet on Monday. “She wanted to do something that would make a difference.”

Meda continued training until she became exposed to COVID-19 in late September.

In an email, Collin College President H. Neil Matkin said that on October 2, Meda was in contact with a student who was showing symptoms such as sneezing, coughing, and watery eyes.

Meda began showing symptoms on October 9 and was hospitalized on October 17. She was placed on a ventilator until she died on November 14, exactly one month after testing positive.

“Just to see this amazing, vivacious woman ... so willing to put her life on the line to help others so they could then help others, to see her languishing there,” Meda-Schlamel told KXAS-TV. “It was such a tragedy.”

Family remembers remember her as a "positive, giving, upbeat person that lit up any room she was in.”

A GoFundMe page has been started to cover medial bills and funeral expenses. The family has raised over $17,000 in Meda’s honor.

A service will be held at noon on December 5th at Covenant Church in McKinney.

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