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500,000 dead: Remembering COVID-19 victim Leilani Jordan

Grocery store worker Leilani Jordan, 27, of Prince George's County, died in April of the coronavirus.

PRINCE GEORGE'S COUNTY, Md. — More than 500,000 people have died from the coronavirus in the United States. Family and friends of victims in the DC region continue to grieve.

Leilani Jordan, 27, of Prince George’s County, died in April. She worked at a Giant grocery store in Largo.

Jordan’s mother, Zenobia Shepherd, said it was a job that she loved.

“She said, ‘but mommy, I need to work and help people mommy,’” Shepherd recalled.

Jordan worked at the store until March 16. Giant Food officials said they were made aware she was sick on March 28. She would ultimately die April 1.

Shepherd said her daughter was a hero and changed the world. She said her daughter, who did not receive a mask at the time she worked at Giant, showed the need for personal protective equipment in all workplaces after her death.

“She was very selfless, loving, she loved everybody,” Shepherd said. “She loved giving. She gave herself. She sacrificed herself to hopefully bring change.”

Shepherd said she cannot understand why people continue to call the coronavirus a hoax especially when one considers what families like hers have lost.

“My daughter died in my arms,” she said. “In my arms. Her last breath. Her last heartbeat. So, I saw what COVID did.”

Shepherd said the latest milestone of 500,000 coronavirus deaths in America leaves her with questions.

"What’s happening? Who’s next? When is it going to stop?” she said.

RELATED: Giant grocery store employee in Largo dies after being diagnosed with coronavirus

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