COVID-19 survivor gives back to first responders during the holidays

Published 4:28 pm Tuesday, November 22, 2022

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COVID-19 survivor Mamie Vaughn is showing her appreciation to first responders during this holiday season.

In a four-day event Nov. 18-21, Vaughn collaborated with more than 50 sponsors to donate 352 gift bags, including 50 turkeys and 200 rotisseries, 20 hams and two free haircuts from the Chop Shop to first responders and Suffolk community members.

Donations were made to Engine 5 of Suffolk, Engine 1 of Norfolk and also to various single mothers, senior citizens and widows. Volunteers Elder Bernard Sharrod, Denis Sharrod, Andrea Young, Keeya Young, Joyce Ann McCray, and Kenneth Griffin joined with Vaughn to distribute bags during the event.

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“I would like to start by saying thank you to our medical professionals, the first responders,” Vaughn said. “Because of the grace of God and these ministers of medicine, I am a survivor of COVID-19,”

She said itis  important for the community to come together to thank all those who provide care for local residents.

“Although this is my story, I am not in this alone. I can not do this alone in this magnitude,” Vaughn said. “It is only because of the grace of God and these giants. So on this day, Nov. 18, we the community, these great giants celebrate you today to let you know that we thank you and that we stand with you. Your labor is not in vain.”

Vaughn also gave special thanks to the sponsors who helped her with the project.

“To Rick & Roys Catering, Dr. William P. Wiggins, Living Word Ministry, Dr. Boone, Tabernacle Baptist Outreach Center Ministry Pastor Harvey and Paulette Wiggins, Life Experience Church, Crocker Funeral Home, Erin State Farm Chesapeake and all those who entrusted me with your monetary donation,” she said.

Vaughn shared her battle with COVID-19.

“My skin was like paper, my hands was red as the stop sign, my saliva was like glue, my stomach felt like a beach ball was in it,” she said. “I was afraid to go to sleep because I had a hard time breathing and could not think well either because of COVID.”

Vaughn sais she was told when she went to the hospital that there was nothing they could do because she contracted the coronavirus when it was a new virus.

“It is an awful time when you get in a spot too afraid to close your eyes and too afraid to open them, you don’t know what’s going to happen,” she said.

Vaughn vowed that if God would spare her life, she would be a blessing back to other people. She thanked Dr. Eboni Carter of Bayview Urgent Care who treated her during her illness.

“Although God spared my life, he also used a doctor who was not afraid to try, who was very honest with me and upfront with me in letting me know whatever we were doing,” Vaughn said. “I saw her heart come up to her face, I was so touched. She made herself accessible around the clock. I am so grateful for this doctor who was not afraid to at the least try and do whatever she could to help.”

Likewise, Vaughn pointed to the importance of Carter’s work and just how impactful it was for her overall livelihood.

“Dr. Carter says she was just doing her job, I say she was saving a life,” Vaughn expressed. “My life, she was saving mine.”

Vaughn also reflected on how Evangelist Annie Wiggins was the core to her work of helping others.

Finally, she thanked Evangelist Annie Wiggins who had been an influence to her for 30 years of her life.

“Your teaching was not in vain, and prayers. I could have been the other way,” she said.