USA

Mother of teacher who died of Covid-19 dies from it weeks later

Shirley Bannister, 57, passed away from complications from Covid-19 on Sunday, according to her brother, Dennis Bell.

Bannister is the mother of Demetria Bannister, a 28-year-old elementary school teacher who died earlier this month, just a few days after testing positive for Covid-19.

Bannister "got really sick about two, three days after her daughter died" on September 7, Bell told CNN in a phone interview.

Bell said his sister was "overwhelmed" after her daughter died just weeks before.

Bannister had a history of asthma and diabetes, and after testing positive for Covid-19, "she actually went to the hospital twice, the second time they decided to keep her," said Bell.

"She had so much to give, so this is like an unexpected gut punch for the whole family," Bell said.

Bannister was the chair of the nursing department at Midlands Technical College in Columbia, according to a statement from Ronald Rhames, the college's president. Bannister earned her nursing degree at the college and returned later in life to teach, Rhames said.

"My heart is broken. Shirley was like an angel on Earth. Her life mission was caring for others," Rhames said.

Bannister and her daughter "were the best of friends," Bell told CNN.

"They'd go to dinner together, they'd go to the movies, go to concerts and things like that, and they planned events together," said Bell.

"Demetria, in a sense, was just like her mother," Bell said.

Bannister grew up in Columbia, South Carolina, and was an active member of St. Mark's Baptist Church, Bell said.

She had a passion for geriatrics and a love for the elderly, Bell said. Bannister helped take care of her 87-year-old mother.

His sister was "loved by everyone," Bell said.

She is survived by her husband, Dennis Bannister. Demetria Bannister was the couple's only child.

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