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Family remembers Tulsa teen who died from COVID-19

James Neal
Posted at 4:28 PM, Dec 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-08 19:17:32-05

TULSA, Okla. — The family of a Tulsa teenager is devastated after the 16-year-old lost his battle to COVID-19 and pneumonia.

James Neal spent more than two weeks in the hospital before he died.

James’s mom, Stephanie Neal, and his twin sister, Jamie Neal, say he loved spending time at Henry Zarrow Regional Library. The family would spend hours at the library every week getting books and movies to rent.

“I have to take it second by second a day,” said Stephanie Neal. “Every minute I want to pick up the phone and call his cell phone and see how he is doing,” she said.

Stephanie says she wouldn’t wish her pain on any parent.

James was first hospitalized on Nov. 7. Stephanie and the family thought he’d pull through, but ultimately they had to take him off of life support the morning of November 23rd.

“It was really hard because we had to make the final decision that day and that’s one thing that I didn’t want to do,” said Stephanie Neal.

James was known as a loving, friendly and outgoing kid. He wanted to be a gamer when he got older.

He was passionate about his favorite holiday, Christmas. His mom says the family will lean on each other to get through the holiday season without him.

“I have to really focus on my daughter, his twin sister,” said Stephanie Neal. “It’s going to be really hard on both of us,” she said.

James was in 10th grade at Epic Schools. Before that, he attended Webster High School.

Stephanie said they had plans to get James vaccinated but didn’t get around to it before he got sick.

He was laid to rest last week.

If you’d like to help with funeral costs, you can donate here.

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