After coming out of retirement to train future nurses, 70-year-old Iris Meda dies of COVID-19 - The Dallas Morning News
Nov 25, 2020 1 min, 59 secs

Meda weighed the risk of going to school each day against the reward of helping to bolster the nursing ranks, said Selene Meda-Schlamel, her daughter.

“I think it was not only because she believed in what she was doing, but she was so happy to be there and so happy to be educating students,” Meda-Schlamel said.

Her family was so poor, her daughter recalled, that Meda didn’t realize until she got married that people were supposed to use their own towel.

After dropping out of high school, Meda later went back to earn her GED in New York, followed by an associate’s degree from Bronx Community College and later a nursing degree.

The family story goes that Meda was so kind to the inmates at Rikers Island that they clapped her out when she left her job there to move to Texas in 1992.

She learned that student tested positive for the virus a week later, according to an email sent by the college president.

He sent an email to college trustees in August -- days before Meda returned to the workforce -- stating that the “effects of this pandemic have been blown utterly out of proportion across our nation and reported with unfortunate sensationalism.”.

And after Meda died, Inside Higher Ed reported, Matkin announced the news in the 22nd paragraph of an email with the subject line, “College Update & Happy Thanksgiving!” He did not include Meda’s name, later saying that was because he did not yet have the family’s permission to do so.

He provided a statement on behalf of Matkin saying he extends his condolences to the Meda family and that the college is “sincerely grateful for her service to our students.”.

It was hard for Meda to speak from her hospital bed, so instead, she texted back and forth with her daughter.

So Meda-Schlamel sent her podcast recommendations.

Days before Meda was intubated, she was reminding her daughter to pick up a “thank you” card for her nurse.

Before she died, she left her daughter a card and a blank check.

“You … will have a wonderful life to come,” Meda wrote to her daughter.

Now, as Meda-Schlamel goes through her mother’s paperwork, she’s finding more evidence of that spirit.

Shortly before she died, Meda and a friend recorded a video of themselves singing and dancing along to Sam Cooke.


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