ATLANTA - A retired Atlanta educator died of COVID-19 on Sunday, her sister is in critical condition battling the same deadly virus.
The 84-year-old Ernestine Miles Mann had several ties to many Atlanta institutions. The native Atlantan graduated from Booker T. Washington High School and Spelman College before teaching in the Atlanta Public School system for more than 30 years. Mann's daughter tells FOX 5's Aungelique Proctor her mother was living at Arbor Terrace Retirement Community off Cascade Road, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention restrictions ceased visits by family members around March 12. However, the senior facility called last week to say Mann's family could have a distant window visit.
"We had flowers, presents, gifts. It was supposed to be a happy time, but as she came to the window, I notice her gait seemed to be really off. Her eyes didn't look right. They looked glassy and weak," Mann's daughter Karla McKinney recall.
Ms. McKinney says later that evening the grandmother of seven was rushed to the hospital. Mann, who was always vibrant, strongly independent and a former lay leader at Hoosier Memorial United Methodist Church, succumbed to the deadly virus four days later while still in the hospital.
But McKinney says the heartbreak doesn't end with her mother's death. Her aunt and Ms. Mann's sister, Carolyn Harris, is at Emory Midtown Hospital in critical condition with COVID-19.
Ms. McKinney said she talked to her aunt just two weeks ago about the dangers of the virus as she worked from home.
"She was admitted on the 19th and since the 22nd of March, she has been on a ventilator herself, unresponsive. She has no idea her sister, my mom, has passed away. We have no idea where this came from for either of our parents, McKinney signed as she spoke about her aunt and mother.
The Spelman College graduate says the hardest part of all of this is not giving her mother the proper burial she earned.