Healthy student, 20, who refused to get vaccinated dies of Covid complications


A 20-year-old college student has died from complications of COVID-19 after he refused to get vaccinated despite his mother’s pleas to do so. 

Tyler Gilreath, who was a sophomore at North Carolina-Wilmington, died Tuesday morning, after testing positive for the virus just two days after he returned to school in August. 

Gilreath had promised his mother, Tamra Demello, he would get vaccinated once he arrived at school, but quickly developed complications shortly after his COVID test came back positive. 

‘I cajoled, encouraged, threatened, and nagged for him to get vaccinated,’ Demello told WECT. ‘I did everything I could possibly think.’

Tyler Gilreath, who was a sophomore at North Carolina-Wilmington, died Tuesday morning, after testing positive for the virus just two days after he returned to school in August

Gilreath (pictured) developed a 100-degree fever, as his COVID infection later morphed into a sinus infection combined with a staph infection

Gilreath (pictured) developed a 100-degree fever, as his COVID infection later morphed into a sinus infection combined with a staph infection

Gilreath developed a 100-degree fever, despite being healthy and having no pre-existing conditions.  

His COVID infection morphed into a sinus infection combined with a staph infection, which eventually moved to his brain, causing severe swelling and damage.

He was rushed to the hospital by his roommates after an abscess ruptured on his brain last week. A CAT scan later revealed there was no blood flow to Gilreath’s brain, with the damage being irreversible.

On September 25, Gilreath’s parents were informed that their son would likely die from brain damage and he was eventually taken off life support on Tuesday.   

Before contracting COVID, Demello said her son was healthy and vibrant, with no pre-existing health conditions. He was studying computer science, loved to wake board, water ski, and snow ski. 

While speaking to reporters, Tyler's mother, Tamra Demello said her son was healthy and vibrant, with no pre-existing health conditions before he contracted COVID

While speaking to reporters, Tyler’s mother, Tamra Demello said her son was healthy and vibrant, with no pre-existing health conditions before he contracted COVID

Demello encouraged parents to do whatever it takes when convincing their children to get vaccinated

 Demello encouraged parents to do whatever it takes when convincing their children to get vaccinated

During his freshman year, before COVID shut down classes, Gilreath was in the Corps of Cadets at Virginia Tech. After deciding to return to North Carolina, Gilreath  transferred to UNCW.

Demello encourages parents to do whatever it takes when convincing their children to get vaccinated.  

‘Legally, they are adults. You really can’t actually make them go. But I would use whatever guilt tactic I could possibly come up with. I would try taking them to see if they would go,’ she said.

 ‘I would say just get this message out and if it can even save one person who is on the fence, or if a parent can use it to say, ‘look how shattered this whole family is.’ This probably won’t happen to you but if there’s any remote possibility that it could — it’s a shot,’ Demello added.    

Colleges nationwide are continuing to crackdown on unvaccinated students, with one school issuing weekly $200 fines to those who’ve yet to get the jab.

Tyler's mother told reporters her son was studying computer science, loved to wake board, water ski, and snow ski, as pictured above

Tyler’s mother told reporters her son was studying computer science, loved to wake board, water ski, and snow ski, as pictured above

During his freshman year, before COVID shut down classes, Tyler Gilreath was in the Corps of Cadets at Virginia Tech. After deciding to return to North Carolina, Gilreath transferred to UNCW.

During his freshman year, before COVID shut down classes, Tyler Gilreath was in the Corps of Cadets at Virginia Tech. After deciding to return to North Carolina, Gilreath transferred to UNCW.

On September 25, Tyler Gilreath's parents were informed that their son would likely die from brain damage and he was eventually taken off life support on Tuesday

On September 25, Tyler Gilreath’s parents were informed that their son would likely die from brain damage and he was eventually taken off life support on Tuesday

Students who don’t abide by Quinnipiac University’s vaccine mandate will receive weekly $100 fines for the first two weeks of non-compliance, and additional $200 weekly fines going forward.

Fines are capped at $2,275 per semester, the Connecticut private school’s student newspaper reported.

Students who delayed getting vaccinated beyond September 14 will lose their on-campus Wifi privileges, staff said in an email to students.

The consequences of defying vaccine mandates don’t end there.  

Virginia Tech has kicked out more than 100 students who failed to submit COVID-19 vaccination documentations, university officials said August 31.

Of the about 37,000 Virginia Tech students expected when classes began last week, 134 were booted for failing to submit their proof of vaccination or exemption documents, university spokesman Mark Owczarski told the Roanoke Times.

Earlier that month, University of Virginia kicked out 238 students for failure to comply with the school’s vaccination requirements, though of those the school says only 48 were enrolled for fall classes.  

The California State University (CUS) system announced in late July that unvaccinated staff and students would not be permitted on campus beyond September 30.

Those who choose not to get vaccinated would likely have the option of studying remotely, officials said.

While UNCW doesn’t have a vaccine mandate for students, the university did provide a COVID-19 Campus Vaccination Clinic from September 20-22. 

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