COTTONDALE, Ala. (WIAT) — An online fundraising effort is underway to help the family of a well-known restaurant worker in Cottondale. 38-year-old Brandee Stripling died Wednesday while fighting COVID-19.
“I was in shock and couldn’t believe it and didn’t think it was real,” said Justin Grimball, who is heartbroken to lose his friend and employee.
Grimball is the co-owner of Jalapeños Mexican Grill. He launched a fundraiser drive to pay for the funeral expenses of Brandee Stripling.
“We started originally to help with medical expenses and helping her family while she was in the hospital. But it turned into the funeral expense, but lately everyone has been stepping up here and helping out,” said Grimball.
Brandee Stripling was admitted to DCH Regional Medical Center on August 24 with pneumonia after getting sick from COVID-19. She was later put on a ventilator and passed away Wednesday.
Justin Grimball says so many of his customers and workers are grieving her death. Stripling was a single parent and has three daughters.
“Every time you saw her, she was bubbly, laughing and carrying on, and even if she had stuff going on in her life, she never let it affect her job. She was never down and out, she was always smiling and happy to see you,” said Grimball.
If you would like to help contribute to the funeral expenses, a GoFundMe page has been set up. You may find the page here.