'It was a disaster.' Grieving son shares story of mother's COVID-19 death

A grieving son is speaking out for the first time since his Yonkers mother died of COVID-19.

News 12 Staff

Apr 6, 2020, 8:01 PM

Updated 1,514 days ago


A grieving son is speaking out for the first time since his Yonkers mother died of COVID-19.
Eiman Fadda was a single mother and a nursing home caregiver who died at 55 due to coronavirus complications. She is believed to be the first COVID-19 death in Yonkers.
“I lost my mom, that's not something you ever recover from,” says Essa Ejelat. “I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy.”
Ejelat said he didn’t even have the chance to say goodbye.
“It was a disaster. We weren't allowed to see her, it was straight from the hospital to the grave,” he says. “We weren't even allowed to watch the burial.”
Ejelat learned on the same day that his mother died that he also contracted COVID-19. He says he caught it from his mother.
It’s not the first time the 33-year-old has faced unthinkable loss.
When he was 4 years old, he was trapped in a burning Yonkers apartment building with his family.
Incredibly, a film crew working on the nearby movie set of “The Preacher’s Wife” rushed in to help. Ejelat and his mother were saved, but his 2 ½-year-old brother and 18-month-old sister died in the fire.
“She always made her presence known. She had one of the biggest hearts. If anyone was hungry, she would feed them. The whole neighborhood was always at my house. And anytime someone needed help, she was there for them,” says Ejelat.
Fadda had been freelancing as a caregiver at the Bayberry Nursing home in New Rochelle. While no one knows for sure where she contracted the virus, he says it struck her down within hours.
“She was on the floor, struggling to get up,” he says. “She’s been sick before because she has diabetes, but I personally never saw her that bad before.”
Less than five days later, she was gone.
Ejelat says he Turned to Tara so that his mother’s death isn’t in vain.
“I just really feel like if her story can help someone wake up, at least her death will have some type of meaning,” he says.
The Bayberry Care Center issued a statement to News 12, offering condolences to Ejelat's family Monday. It told News 12 the CDC concluded she did not contract the virus at the nursing home.
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