Family, community mourning after NC teacher, mom dies from COVID-19


APEX, N.C. (WNCN) — The Apex community is in mourning after Scott’s Ridge elementary school teacher Merridith Mongone died following a tough battle with COVID-19.

Mongone’s friends and family are devastated especially because she said her dying wish was to get vaccinated.

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Mongone was a wife, mother of four and a 4th-grade teacher at Scotts Ridge Elementary School. She was known as a caring educator and loyal friend.

She contracted COVID-19 in August during a trip to Charlotte, and after a short stay in the hospital, died from the virus.

During that time she texted with her friend Christi Vereckey, a fellow teacher at the school, asking that she help her daughter get vaccinated, and expressing regret that she waited to get the vaccine herself.

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Vereckey says she’ll never forget that final message.

“I should’ve gotten vaccinated…I was so dumb…I’ll be getting vaccinated, hopefully, when I get out of here in three weeks,” Vereckey told CBS 17 the message said.

Hoping to prevent a similar fate for her family, Mongone was able to accomplish one thing right before she died – getting her daughter vaccinated.

“Her daughter is vaccinated now and the family plans to as soon as they can,” Vereckey said.

Vereckey said she now keeps her friend’s legacy alive by doing her part to keep others alive.

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“She’s still making a difference – we’ve had a lot of people contact me that said ‘I got people to get vaccinated because of this story’ and that means the world,” Verecjey said. “You have a choice, you can take the chance of COVID and all that comes with that or you can take the chance with the vaccine and the vaccine in my opinion is the safer route.”

Mongone’s husband Frank says that he is not yet ready to speak on camera about this painful development but said he wanted to thank the doctors for everything they did for his wife.

He’s also asking the community to pray for their four daughters.

Here is a statement released by Frank Mongone:

“I would like to show my appreciation to the nurses in the SICU unit as well as the doctors who have went above and beyond to take care of my wife Merridith I can’t thank them enough – I’m forever grateful! They did everything they could to help Merridith get better but god had other plans. I would also like the people to continue to pray for strength in my girls.”

A GoFundMe website has been set up to help the family.

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