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'Sweet angel' | 17-year-old girl in Norfolk dies of COVID-19 complications

Schwanda Corprew lived in Tidewater Gardens. She would have been a senior at Booker T. Washington High School.

NORFOLK, Va. — Family members of a girl who lived in Tidewater Gardens said she died from COVID-19 complications on Friday, July 30.

Relatives of Schwanda Corprew said her death was the one reported by the Virginia Department of Health on Thursday.

Schwanda had complained of headaches and some body aches last week, then she unexpectedly passed away at home. According to family, a medical examiner confirmed it was from COVID-19 complications.

Schwanda's aunt, Shanice Edwards, said her niece was scheduled to get her COVID-19 shot four days after she died.

The 17-year-old would have been a senior at Booker T. Washington High School this fall. She will be remembered as someone with the sweetest heart.

"She was very quiet, but whenever you saw her, she was always smiling. She loved to take pictures," said Edwards. 

Schwanda was the youngest of seven sisters. She was known to be a bright, sweet girl who loved electronics. 

The family expressed their thanks for the prayers, thoughts and contributions pouring in. Edwards set up a GoFundMe account for funeral costs. 

"With the community's help, with everybody else’s help, we can get her a proper service and burial so that she could be put to rest like the sweet angel she is," said Edwards. 

This is the first reported death of a child with COVID-19 in the Eastern Region of Virginia. This area includes the Peninsula, southside Hampton Roads and the Eastern Shore.

“We extend our condolences to the family and friends of this child at this time of great loss,” said State Health Commissioner M. Norman Oliver, M.D., M.A. in a news release. “COVID-19 has taken thousands of lives from us, and every death is a tragedy. The COVID-19 pandemic is far from over. As we have seen in recent weeks, a COVID variant, the Delta variant, spreads more easily from one person to another. We have made progress in these past months against this virus, but a tragic event like the death of this young child is a stark reminder that our work is not done.”

Norfolk Public Schools shared a statement after finding out about Schwanda's death:

We are extremely saddened to learn of the passing of Schwanda Corprew. Supports are in place for students and staff who may be having a difficult time with the news. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Corprew family at this time.