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Memphis News & Weather | Memphis, TN | WATN - localmemphis.com

Friends raise money for Memphis activist & home care worker hospitalized with COVID-19

A GoFundMe was set up for Sepia Coleman, well known locally in Fight For 15 movement.

MEMPHIS, Tennessee — "All I could do was pray, pray for the best outcome," Jayanni Webster said.

Webster dealt with two nerve wracking weeks, as her friend Sepia Coleman struggled with COVID-19 in an area hospital, on and off oxygen.

"Sepia is a fighter, so that was something to also see her in such a dire situation, was very scary," Webster said.

Coleman is a Memphis activist with 'Fight For 15', which advocates for the federal minimum wage to be raised to $15 an hour.

The home care worker for the disabled and elderly believes she contracted the virus in her necessary, close contact interactions.

"Since the pandemic began, Sepia has been very vocal about trying to protect herself and her coworkers on the job. She almost felt like it was inevitable," Webster said.

This week, Webster helped launch a GoFundMe page, to help with Coleman's short and long-term medical bills. It has raised nearly $5,300 as of Friday afternoon.

"She was so relieved, so very, very thankful. Her first words were, 'oh my god, oh my god', I need to send thank you cards to everyone," Webster said.

Webster said her friend's COVID-19 hospitalization gaver her a new sense of perspective.

"To see a healthcare professional get sick from the virus makes it even more real," Webster said. "Sepia doesn't have any savings, she doesn't have any paid time off or health care insurance, so we know it's not just about surviving COVID-19 and recovering from COVID-19. It's also about what is she going to do when the bills come in?"

Coleman was expected to be released from the hospital Friday.

The beautiful and brave Sepia Coleman recently contracted COVID-19 and is currently hospitalized. Sepia is a dedicated home care worker in Memphis, TN and a national leader in the Fight for $15 and a Union Campaign. Despite the dangers of being an essential healthcare worker on the front lines during the pandemic, Sepia has continued to put her patients and clients first.