Mississippi 25-year-old dies after battle with COVID; family says she was ‘perfectly healthy’ before virus struck

Published 4:27 pm Monday, November 23, 2020

Adams County Coroner James Lee said, “COVID-19 has taken on a new meaning” when he lost his 25-year-old granddaughter to the disease Thursday morning.

“COVID-19 has left a big hole in our hearts,” Lee said.

Lee said his granddaughter, Samara Lyric Rand, was pregnant with a now 3-month-old child when she first contracted the virus and had been fighting serious lung problems since then.

Lee said Rand grew up in Holmes County and was a resident of Lexington (Mississippi). Rand graduated summa cum laude from Alcorn State University in Lorman and immediately decided to become a teacher, Lee said.

Rand was in her second year of teaching for Holmes County School District and was just getting her classes ready for virtual learning before she became sick, Lee said.

“She was a perfectly healthy young lady,” Lee said.

Approximately three months ago, Lee said Rand started experiencing, shortness of breath. Her breathing worsened to the point of doctors delivering her baby so she could be treated.

“She went on a ventilator and never came off,” Lee said.

Lee has been reporting COVID-19 deaths in Adams County since the start of the pandemic. At the loss of his young granddaughter, Lee said it is clear that the virus does not discriminate based on age.

“My message to young people, anyone her age or older, is that this pandemic is real and you need to be very cautious as how you adhere to the (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) guidelines. Regardless of what anyone says, it’s real and you need to protect yourself. More young people are dying from the disease now, nationwide.”

Lee said the family would have a private funeral on Wednesday and said he is grateful to everyone who has reached out to his family and him.

“I thank everybody for their concern and the love they’ve shown to me and my family. Be safe,” he said.