Stella Stephens Glover, a Paul Mitchell cosmetology school instructor, died earlier this month waiting for a heart transplant after battling the effects of COVID-19 for almost three years.
Glover, of Sumiton, died Jan. 11. She was 36.
The Paul Mitchell School – Birmingham called her “an incredible learning leader, mentor and friend,” in a social media post.
Danielle Carroll, a friend, said following her death that “she fought until the very end. Her final moments were peaceful. Surrounded by the ones that love her the most.”
More than two years after her diagnosis, Glover recounted her journey on Facebook, saying, “I’m exhausted, I just want a new heart and an immune system again.”
Glover tested positive for COVID-19 in April 2020. A month later, she had a post viral heart attack. By October of that year, she was outfitted with a pacemaker and defibrillator combo.
By April of 2021, she had both doses of the COVID vaccine. But two months later, she needed emergency ventricular assist devices installed to help her heart pump blood and stay alive. It was only by December of that year, she recounted, that she finally began to walk without wobbling.
Then on Christmas morning, she was rushed to the hospital in septic shock. By now, doctors were telling her she needed a heart transplant to survive. In March of 2022, she was once again in septic shock and needed 11 shocks from a defibrillator. Friends began raising money for a heart transplant, aware that Glover already had numerous medical bills while fighting to stay alive.
She tested positive once again for COVID during the summer. Through it all, she endured long stretches away from friends and family, battling depression and the uncertainty of the future, trying to stay positive but recounting her journey on social media.
On Oct. 30 of last year, she wrote of how she “cried at least 30 times, because I miss my active lifestyle; but, didn’t realize how much I’ve missed at home for the past several years.”
“I am scared all the time. And go days on end without remembering a thing,” she said. A week later, she complained of feeling “tired, weak, overwhelmed, and just plain all around pure exhaustion.”
She was able to be home with her family for the holidays, but immediately went back into the hospital just before her death.
In her obituary, she was remembered as “the light of so many peoples’ lives.”
“A woman of motion, she couldn’t stay still,” the obituary stated. “A confidant to so many. No matter the time or situation, she made time for others. She lived fiercely for her family and her friends.”