Wake County elementary school teacher dies from COVID-19 complications

Wake County Public School System

A Wake County elementary school teacher who contracted COVID-19 has died.

In a letter sent Thursday to families at Scotts Ridge Elementary School in Apex, parents were told that Merridith Mongone had died that afternoon from complications due to COVID. Mongone was a fourth-grade teacher at the school.

“She will be greatly missed by the staff, students, and Scotts Ridge community and our hearts go out to her friends and family,” said the letter from the school

Mongone contracted COVID in early August, according to a GoFundMe page set up to help her pay for her medical bills. The page, which was set up by fellow 4th-grade teacher Christi Vereckey, says Mongone was doing OK but then started having trouble.

Mongone initially was taken to WakeMed in Cary but was later moved to UNC Medical Center in Chapel Hill. She was put on ECMO, or extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, a machine that replaces the function of the heart and lungs by sucking blood out of the body, pushing it through an artificial lung that feeds it oxygen, then returning it to the heart

“Yesterday heaven gained another angel,” the GoFundMe page posted Friday. “Merridith passed away with Frankie (her husband) at her side. Please pray for the family for the days to come.”

Mongone also leaves behind four daughters.

Mongone’s death comes as the Wake County school system weighs whether to require employees to be vaccinated as a condition of employment.

On Tuesday, the Wake County school system shared a survey of district employees that shows close to 90% say they have received the COVID vaccine or plan to do so.

A new federal requirement from the Biden Administration calls for employers with at least 100 employees to get their workers fully vaccinated or give them weekly COVID tests.

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T. Keung Hui has covered K-12 education for the News & Observer since 1999, helping parents, students, school employees and the community understand the vital role education plays in North Carolina. His primary focus is Wake County, but he also covers statewide education issues.

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