Shirley Bannister, 57, the nursing department chair at Midlands Technical College, tested positive for COVID-19 on Sept. 7, the same day her 28-year-old daughter Demetria “Demi” Bannister died, a relative told South Carolina news station WISTV.
The mother went to the hospital three times, complaining of symptoms, before being admitted, her sister-in-law Shirley Mills Bannister told the news station.
“I just heard her saying, ‘Shirley…they won’t test us, they won’t let me get any treatment because they say that my symptoms are not severe enough and I need treatment,” the relative said.
News of the elder Bannister’s death shook the school community where she worked.
“My heart is broken. Shirley was like an angel on Earth,” Midlands Technical College President Dr. Ronald Rhames said in a statement obtained by WIS. “Her life mission was caring for others.”
According to Rhames, the mother earned her nursing degree from MTC before teaching there and rising to chair of the school’s nursing department.
“While her death is devastating, her impact is everlasting,” Rhames said.
Her daughter was a third-grade teacher at Windsor Elementary School in Columbia. She died just three days after being diagnosed with COVID-19.