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‘Friend to all': N.C. paramedic dies of COVID-19 complications

Lt. Melanie Massagee “was known for her giving personality,” said Gaston County EMS officials


Photo/Gaston County EMS

Joe Marusak
The Charlotte Observer

GASTONIA, N.C. — Family, friends and colleagues are mourning a Gaston County EMS leader who died of COVID-19 complications.

Lt. Melanie Massagee died Sunday after battling the disease since just before Christmas, Gaston County EMS posted on Facebook this week. She was put on a ventilator shortly before she died, according to the agency.

“Her family hopes that this tragedy will help others realize how devastating this virus can be and encourages everyone to take all necessary precautions to help prevent such future tragedies,” Gaston County EMS officials said in Monday’s Facebook post.

Officials aren’t saying if Massagee was vaccinated against the virus.

“Melanie was known for her giving personality, dedication to ensuring no one was left unheard or went without,” according to the agency’s post.

She was “a friend to all who knew her” and “lived a life of service and commitment to her faith, family, friends, and the patients she served,” agency officials said in the post.

Massagee’s husband, Wayne, also has COVID-19 and is in an area hospital, according to a Jan. 6 Facebook post by Yvette Ellis, her sister.

“They are fighters and stubborn but need prayers from everyone,” Ellis wrote at the time.

Massagee started her service to the county with the Bessemer City Rescue Squad in 1978, EMS officials said. She later became a Gaston County EMS volunteer auxiliary member and joined the agency full-time in 2007.

She was the B-Shift lieutenant in her latest role.

“Gaston County EMS extends our heartfelt condolences to Lieutenant Massagee’s family and extended work family,” EMS officials posted on Facebook.

The agency placed a temporary memorial in front of its station at 615 N. Highland St. in Gastonia.

Final arrangements haven’t been announced, agency officials said.


©2022 The Charlotte Observer.

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