Maryland grocery clerk with cerebral palsy dies of coronavirus

A grocery store worker who had cerebral palsy died from the coronavirus after continuing to serve elderly shoppers.

Leilani Jordan worked at Giant Food in Largo, Maryland a few miles east of Washington, D.C. Despite the physical challenges she faced, Jordan wanted to make sure elderly customers were able to get their shopping done because the store was short-staffed.

Jordan was hospitalized with COVID-19 in March and died last week. She was only 27.

“It’s just crazy here at work … but somebody’s got to do it,” Jordan said, according to her mother, Zenobia Shepherd who spoke to CNN’s New Day Wednesday. “I’ve got to help the older people.”

“She was doing everything for them: Helping them put their groceries in their walkers, to helping them get into lifts,” Shepherd said.

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It is not yet clear how Jordan contracted the fatal disease. Shepherd explained that her daughter confided in her that the workers were not provided protection from the aerosolized illness that has forced a mandate of social distancing.

“She (told me), ‘Mom, there is no masks here, there is no gloves, there is no hand sanitizer, ” Shepherd said.

Jordan was classified as an essential worker because she worked at the market.

Jordan’s mother also told MSNBC Thursday that Jordan had to clean up the bathroom and was only paid $20.64 for a week of work. She says there was a lack of leadership in the store and nobody was helping.

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Jordan’s last day of work was March 16. Giant offered their condolences on her passing but said that there were no guidelines yet in place about workers wearing masks and Jordan had made no official complaint. Giant now has those policies in place.

Before she passed away, Jordan secretly filmed a video saying goodbye to her loved ones. Her stepfather, Charles, found the recording among her possessions. She’d taken the password off her phone and it was unlocked.

“She made a video saying goodbye to all us, and wished everybody the best,” he said.

“She told us bye; her sisters, (and her service dog) Angel, bye; and all her friends.

“She told them, you know, ‘See you on the other side.’”

 

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