Nurse Who Helped COVID-19 Patients Dies From Novel Virus

September 12, 2020

    Coronavirus has claimed the life of a dedicated Mississippi nurse who helped care for hundreds of coronavirus patients since the onset of the pandemic in March.

    Cheryl Smith Longfellow, a registered nurse at Singing River Hospital in Ocean Springs, died from COVID, CEO Lee Bond confirmed per the Sun Herald.

    “Cheryl was a beloved member of our Singing River Strong family,” Bond said. “She was a true Health Care Hero in every sense and literally impacted countless lives throughout her long selfless career as an ICU Nurse. No words can describe the pain our family feels today.”

    Despite caring for patients that tested positive for the novel virus, she did not contract it at work, Sarah Duffery, media relations director for SRHS said. Longfellow caught the virus outside, but it’s unclear where or how.

    The 60-year-old, who came from a big family of three children and nine grandchildren, according to her Facebook page, passed away Thursday night.

    She was surrounded by her loved ones, who were standing a safe distance away. Nurses also lined the hallway to honor her.

    A GoFundMe account was set up to help the family cover some of the expenses. Over $3,000 dollars were donated in the first 24 hours with more than $8,000 of the $10,000 goal currently raised.

    “My mom was always on the move. She spent the majority of her time at work, never working just the 12 hours...she was there sometimes 14 to 16 hours a day, all to turn around and do it again. She loved helping others. She was our rock, our backbone to our family,” the page read.

    The loss has hit the hospital hard, but Bond is reminding the public that it’s “still a tough fight.”

    “Even though the numbers have gone down, it is still challenging to stay positive every day given the fact that this virus has not left us, and knowing that we might have a wave in a few weeks,” he wrote on the SRHS website.

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