The last deceased Giant Food worker worked at the Campus Way South store on March 16. According to Giant Food officials, the store was informed that she was sick on March 28.
Zenobia Shepherd identified the victim as her 27-year-old daughter, Leilani Jordan.
“She was my butterfly,” she said to WUSA in tears. “I know she is in heaven, and she is there to welcome everyone. “
Shepherd said that Jordan worked at the Giant Food store for six years as part of the company’s disability program.
“She loved her little job,” said Shepherd. “She did everything they needed to help people. “
As the spread of the coronavirus worsened, Shepherd said his daughter wanted to continue working at the grocery store to make sure others could get the items they needed.
“She said no one showed up for work,” said Shepherd. “She said,‘ Mom, I’m going to work. I will continue to work. I want to help.’ “
However, Shepherd said her daughter’s health deteriorated in late March.
Shepherd said that what started with a cough has turned into something much more serious. She took her daughter to the Walter Reed Medical Center for treatment.
“When she got out of the car, she fell. She collapsed in the parking lot, “said Shepherd. “When they got it, she had a 104 degree fever. They put her in solitary confinement. She called me and said, “Mom, I can hardly breathe. “”
Shepherd said that a medical team had taken Jordan to an isolation room and put a ventilator on him.
It’s hard to watch, but that’s what the coronavirus does to thousands of people around the world. Shepard shared these photos with WUSA to remind us how horrible this virus can be and what we can do to prevent it.
Jordan eventually died from the virus.
Now, Shepherd has said that planning for her daughter’s funeral has raised even more challenges. According to the mother, no funeral home is ready to accommodate patients with coronavirus for fear of the spread of the disease.
The family is raising money for the funeral expenses, hoping that Jordan’s generosity could spread to others.
“We have to pull ourselves together and protect each other,” she said.
Giant Food spokesperson Felismina Andrade said the company was saddened by Jordan’s death and was following health guidelines to help keep other associates safe. In addition, the company will offer counseling resources to employees of Campus Way South.
“We are saddened to confirm that a store associate at our Campus Way South location in Largo has died of COVID-19,” said Andrade. “We were informed of his death Thursday morning by his family. We can only imagine the grief they are going through and we have offered our support during this difficult time. “
The Campus Way store is undergoing additional cleaning and disinfection, said Andrade, stating that the company continues to work with health officials to take all necessary steps to protect employees and customers while keeping their stores open.