LITTLE ROCK, Ark — Since the start of the pandemic, it's our mission at THV11 to show you faces behind the coronavirus numbers presented every day.
The death Shanta Batchelor is an especially heartbreaking reminder that the virus does not discriminate and doesn't care how old you are.
Shanta, who had just turned 34 on July 16, died last week from the virus. She had no underlying health conditions.
And now, her mother has a message for everyone who believes they will simply remain untouched by it all.
"Her personality on a scale of 1-100 was a 200!" said Lesia Phillips, Shanta's mother. "Her motto was, 'I want to treat people how I want to be treated.'"
Shanta was an administrative assistant at Arkansas Children's Hospital who touched every person she met.
"She had a loving, kind, sweet personality. She would do whatever for anyone and never ask for anything in return," Phillips said.
But about a week after her birthday, she started feeling sick. So sick, she went to the hospital.
And despite her careful demeanor, always wearing a mask and gloves, she tested positive for COVID-19.
"That was her greatest fear, she didn't want to get this COVID-19. She said, 'I don't know how this happened to me,'" Phillips explained.
Doctors told her that her age and good health would help Shanta pull through, but the opposite happened. She kept getting worse and on August 10, was placed on a ventilator
That was the last time Lesia spoke to her daughter, who said she was afraid and feared she wouldn't make it.
Her fears came true August 24 when Lesia got the call from the nurse.
"She was crying and said, Ms. Lesia, we lost her," Phillips said.
For Lesia, it's a giant hole in her heart and a she has a message: "Please take this serious. Please, please, please take it serious."
"She didn't get to come home, she didn't get to walk out the hospital," Phillips said. "Hearing and seeing her is what I miss – I miss her so much."
Shanta's mom said her daughter had so much life left to live and shared that even the doctors explained that they simply don't understand yet why some people are hit so hard by COVID-19 and others aren't.
Our thoughts and prayers are with Shanta's family and all families dealing with coronavirus, in whatever form.