Season to Share recipient Shawania Wyatt, nurse and mother of 2, dies at 40

·3 min read
Shawania Wyatt sits with her sons Kamari, 12, (left) and Kevin Eutsey, 17, in Riviera Beach in October. Wyatt died of stomach cancer Jan. 5.
Shawania Wyatt sits with her sons Kamari, 12, (left) and Kevin Eutsey, 17, in Riviera Beach in October. Wyatt died of stomach cancer Jan. 5.

Before Shawania Wyatt contracted COVID-19 through her work in June 2020, she had never been seriously ill.

After, she was never again healthy. Her bout with COVID, which continued for months, had camouflaged the threat of a growing aggressive cancer.

Wyatt, a nurse and mother of two teen boys, whose determination to overcome her illness and hold her family together inspired the generosity of Palm Beach Post Season to Share donors, died Jan. 5 in hospice care. She was 40 years old.

Her last months were made easier by the Season to Share contributions that lifted the stress of mounting financial difficulties brought by her treatment and care and allowed her to celebrate Christmas with her sons, said Tenecia Sproull, president of The Pink Queen Foundation, which nominated Wyatt as a Season to Share recipient.

Shawania's story: Illness, first COVID, now cancer has cost a mother her independence and her home

Season to Share: The Post's holiday campaign tells stories of struggling families in our county. Readers are invited to help them with donations

In early November, Wyatt told the Palm Beach Post how, until the preceding year, she had worked two jobs at a time and gone to school at night to ensure her sons had the lives she wanted for them.

Shawania Wyatt, seen at her home in Riviera Beach in October, died Jan. 5 of cancer. She was 40.
Shawania Wyatt, seen at her home in Riviera Beach in October, died Jan. 5 of cancer. She was 40.

Losing her ability to work and, with that, her independence, hung heavily on her, said Sproull, whose organization provides support for families affected by cancer. The uncertainty of her future frightened her.

“She told me, 'I have to be here for my kids,'” Sproull said.

Season to Share donations paid for her travel to grueling chemotherapy sessions in Miami and medical supplies at home. As her strength ebbed, donations provided a patio set where she sat in the sun, contributed a share of household expenses of the family members who took her in, and paid for the caregivers she needed.

She was determined to spend Christmas at home, where Season to Share contributions had made it possible for her to watch her sons open presents, but she ended the day in the hospital when the pain from a tumor in her abdomen became overwhelming.

When specialists told her there was nothing more that medicine could do for her, she wanted only to see her older son Kevin Eutsey, 17, graduate from high school in June, Sproull said. She worried about her younger son Kamari, 12, who helped to take care of her, but whom she worried was having to grow up too soon.

Her family will receive friends Friday from5 to 8 p.m. at the Royal Palm Funeral Home, 5601 Greenwood Ave., West Palm Beach. A Celebration of Life will be held Saturday 2 p.m. at the funeral home, with interment to follow in Glenwood Cemetery.

To make a donation for Shawania Wyatt's family visit pbpo.st/sesaontoshare2021 or send a check payable to Season to Share to:

The Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties

ATTN: Season to Share

The Palm Beach Post

700 S. Dixie Highway, Suite 200

West Palm Beach, FL 33401

This article originally appeared on Palm Beach Post: COVID, then cancer sidelined Shawania Wyatt who died at 40

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