Lake City family devastated after 17-year-old dies from COVID-19

LAKE CITY, Fla. — A Lake City family is devastated after 17-year-old Jo’Keria Graham died from COVID-19, according to the family.

Jaylen Brown described his little sister as a giving spirit, saying she would always lend a helping hand to her mother and grandparents.

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“She was sweet, did everything you asked of her, she made good grades, never got in trouble,” he said.

When Brown visited Graham last Tuesday, he didn’t know that would be the last time he’d see her alive.

“It started off as any other day,” he said. “She called my grandparents, asked if they could bring her food; there wasn’t really anything out of the ordinary.”

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According to Brown, Graham passed away at home on Friday, days before she was supposed to start her senior year at Columbia High School.

“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,” he said.

Though Brown says Graham wasn’t vaccinated, she took other safety steps against COVID-19 like wearing a mask and social distancing.

READ: Where to get a free COVID-19 test in the Jacksonville area

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

Brown’s heart goes out to other families who’ve lost loved ones during the pandemic. He says he will miss his little sister’s bright happy smile the most.

Action News Jax reached out to Columbia High School along with the school district to find out if they’re honoring Graham in any way. We will update this story when we get a response.