Coronavirus: Florida teen dies days before starting senior year of high school

LAKE CITY, Fla. — A 17-year-old Florida girl died from COVID-19 days before starting her senior year of high school, her family said.

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Jo’Keria Graham seemed to be improving earlier this month when she called and asked her grandparents to bring her breakfast, before she collapsed in the bathroom.

“She was saying, ‘I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe’,” grandmother Tina Graham said. “We thought she was doing fine. Both of my sons had it and one of my sons was really really sick and she wasn’t near as sick as he was.”

Jo’Keria Graham died earlier this month and was buried in her cap and gown.

She was in quarantine after testing positive shortly before the start of the school year. Her family said that while she was not vaccinated, she wore a mask and would social distance.

“I don’t know how she got it,” brother Jaylen Brown told WJAX. “She never really left the house.”

She enjoyed taking care of children and would call her grandparents daily to check on them or to help at their office and looked forward to graduation.

“She was sweet, did everything you asked of her, she made good grades, never got in trouble,” Brown said. “I think she was ready to graduate more than anything, she was ready to go to college. She wanted to be a surgeon, she wanted to go to UF.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.