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Beloved Brooklyn Educator Dies After Long Battle With COVID-19

Rana Zoe Mungin, 30, had been battling the deadly coronavirus for over a month.

Despite recent positive developments in her progress, Rana Zoe Mungin, the 30-year-old social studies teacher at Ascend Academy in Brooklyn whose family and friends made headlines fighting for her to have access to experimental COVID-19 treatment, has died.

Mia Mungin, Rana Zoe’s sister, made the announcement Monday afternoon on Twitter.

“It is with heavy heart that I have to inform you all that my sister Rana Zoe…has passed away today at 12:25pm due to COVID-19 complication. She fought a long fight but her body was to [sp] weak.”

Rana Zoe is believed to have contracted COVID-19 from her sister Mia, who is a registered nurse in New York City. When she first showed symptoms, the beloved educator was sent home twice without being tested. It wasn’t until Rana Zoe was rushed to the hospital again, barely able to breathe, that her condition was taken seriously.

“My sister went to the hospital on the 15th of March for fever and shortness of breath,” Mia Mungin told PIX11. “They gave her albuterol for asthma and and gave her a shot of Toradol for her headache…she kept saying, ‘My headache is so bad.’”

Mia Mungin began running fever on March 10, one day after member of her staff did. She says her sister Rana Zoe began running fever on March 12. On her first visit to the hospital on March 15, Rana Zoe was given albuterol to treat her asthma and medication for her headache, then sent home. When her shortness of breath persisted over the following three days, her sister called an ambulance. Once again, the sisters’ concerns were dismissed, with one paramedic suggesting that Rana Zoe’s shortness of breath could be attributed to an asthma attack. 

When she arrived at the hospital, she still was not tested for COVID-19, even though she had several of the primary symptoms.

Rana Zoe Mungin, as too many Black women before her, was not believed. Her pain was not taken into consideration. Her knowledge of her own body was not prioritized. She suffered and, ultimately, died needlessly because we live in a nation structured for our deaths.

Read Rana’s 2015 interview with Wellesley Underground, an alternative Wellesley-alumnae blog here. It’s a glimpse into one Black woman’s journey and the community, circumstances, and family that shaped her life.


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