21-year-old UNC student, a Morehead-Cain scholar, dies unexpectedly after getting sick

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WTVD) -- People who knew and loved UNC student Wynn Burrus believed she was a shining star who was destined for greatness.

They never imagined her greatness would be so short-lived.

This week, the 21-year-old senior business administration major died Tuesday from complications after a sinus infection.

According to a blog post from Burrus' family, she first got sick over the weekend. She was on antibiotics, but suddenly started feeling worse Sunday.

Sunday night, Burrus' roommates found her unconscious. First responders rushed her to the hospital but two days later, she died.

Friends and loved ones, like Clarissa Fleming are mourning her sudden death.

"She made a difference everywhere she went." said Fleming, who knew Burrus' impact first hand.

Fleming, the former principal of the now-closed Hope Charter Leadership Academy in Raleigh, said Burrus created Hope For Hope, a pen-pal program connecting UNC students as mentors to underprivileged youth.

Tonight, those kids are heartbroken.

"Most definitely a tragedy. We're losing what we want to see as educators -- a community full of loving, genuine people who want to give back to the community," Fleming said.

As a student at Broughton High School in Raleigh, Burrus organized a prom for teens with special needs.

She also created the philanthropy chair position for her school's student government, was captain of the tennis team, and helped start Special Needs Dances for students across Wake County.

This was Burrus' final year at UNC.

Burrus was a business administration major who had interned in Washington and New York. She also studied abroad in Vienna. She planned to work in the financial sector after graduation.

She was active in student government and set to graduate debt-free as a prestigious Morehead-Cain Foundation scholar.

The Foundation said she was unbelievably kind with a fierce brilliance.

"The Morehead-Cain Foundation staff is heartbroken about her sudden and seemingly inexplicable loss. Our love goes out to her family, her many friends, and all those she touched."

More tributes came from her Kappa Delta sorority sisters: "To know Wynn was not only to love her, but to be profoundly touched by her."

Burrus' parents released a statement to ABC11 about their daughter.

"We are humbled that so many people love our daughter like we do. Wynn was a kind, generous, thoughtful soul who lived authentically with everyone she loved not only at home but out in the world as well."

This is the second recent tragedy for the Burrus family.

Burrus' grandmother died in a car crash exactly two years ago.

On Monday, the family will lay Burrus to rest.
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