By Paul Burton

BOSTON (CBS) — In these sad and somber days of COVID-19, Clementina Chery knows what her mother would say.

“She always focused on her faith and bright side of the dark,” Chery said. “What do other people need? Always calling people — what do you need and how can I be of service?”

Zoila Weddborn’s entire life was one of service. The 79-year-old passed away from the coronavirus earlier this month at Boston Medical Center. It’s the same place her daughter said her mom spent much of her life as a dedicated nurse in the SICU before retiring in 2011.

“This COVID-19 infringed on her freedom,” Chery said.

Zoila Weddborn (Photo Courtesy: Clementina Chery)

Weddborn worked at the hospital for 40 years. When she got sick with COVID-19, she found herself being cared for by the same nurses she used to work with and on the same floor on which she cared for others.

“We knew the fact that she was in that ward she was not alone. It was her extended family,” Chery said.

Weddborn used to make bright-colored scrubs for her coworkers to wear. When she passed, her fellow nurses decorated the hospital with her scrubs.

“They hung them up in the ward and on the windows from the outside. You can see the scrubs in the windows,” Chery said.

Chery is the founder of the Louis D. Brown Peace Institute, which she established after her 15-year-old son Louis was killed in the crossfire of a shootout in Dorchester. Louis also passed away at Boston Medical Center, which made saying goodbye to her mom even more difficult.

“I think going there to see her that final day, for me it was re-triggering. It was like going back to see Louis,” Chery said.

Chery said she’s proud to say her mom lived the American dream, and the lessons she learned from her will last a lifetime.

“What role do I have in this short time that I am, and finally, her faith in God and exercise your right to vote,” Chery said.

Paul Burton

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