Family says Marion County nurse dies after contracting COVID-19

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HAMILTON, Ala. (WIAT) — A nurse at a Marion County nursing home died Monday evening after her daughter said she tested positive for COVID-19.

Amanda Williams told CBS 42 her mother, Rose Harrison, is at North Mississippi Medical Center in Tupelo.

According to Williams, her mother died peacefully at 6:43 p.m. Monday with family members at NMMC in Tupelo. Loved ones thanked the hospital staff for the care and kindness.

Harrison had been working at Marion Regional Nursing Home in Hamilton, Alabama. She recently learned she tested positive for coronavirus after another patient at the nursing home contracted COVID-19.

Williams said her mother’s condition deteriorated quickly.

“She spiked a high temperature on Friday night. I took her directly to an emergency room and by Saturday night she was on a ventilator,” said Williams.

For around 30 years, Harrison has served her community as a nurse and healthcare worker. Now people across the country are praying for her.

“I want everybody to know what a wonderful woman she is and if she does not come through this that she did doing exactly what she thought she had to do and that was to take care of her patients,” said Williams.

According to Williams, her mother reported a low-grade fever, but was told to continue to working to help care for patients at the nursing home for several days.

“She was told by her employees, her supervisors, that unless you ran a 100.4 fever, you are expected to work, you are part of the leadership team,” said Williams, who is also a nurse.

Williams said she knows her mother chose a career that could put her in harms way, but she is concerned that other nursing homes may not be using masks and other protective equipment until it is too late.

“The time that she was exposed, they weren’t wearing the protective masks. They weren’t required to wear the protective masks, because they hadn’t had a case yet. And that’s one thing that I fear with other nursing homes, if you haven’t had a case yet, it doesn’t matter,” said Williams.

A spokesperson for the Marion Regional Nursing Home’s parent company, North Mississippi Hospital Services, would only tell CBS 42 that one resident at the facility had recently tested positive.

Williams said other caregivers and patients have been tested for COVID-19 and she believes leaders are waiting on results.

NMHS did not respond to multiple requests for additional information.

As Harrison’s health continues to decline, her daughter is asking for prayers of comfort for someone who dedicated her life to helping others.

“Mother is the absolute foundation of our family. She’s been a nurse for over 30 years. A wife, a grandmother, just a wonderful mother. She has dedicated her entire life to her family and nursing career,” said Williams.

Williams is also asking for prayers for the country and leaders during the pandemic.

She is thankful to all the nurses and doctors who have cared for her mother over the past few days.

“As far as healthcare officials, we can’t always keep our distance, so the only way to protect ourselves and protect the patient that we are treating is to keep our hands to ourselves and wear the mask,” Williams said.

As of Monday evening, Harrison remained in the hospital at NMMC in Tupelo.

Stay with CBS 42 for updates.


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