First West Virginia Nurse passes away from COVID-19

CHARLESTON, WV (WOAY) – The West Virginia Nurses Association has announced that the first nurse in West Virginia has passed away at the age of 48.

President and CEO Albert White released the following information:

“Earlier this week, we learned the unfortunate news that a long-time WVU Medicine employee in Morgantown, who had recently tested positive for COVID-19, passed due to complications from the disease. She was just 48. By all accounts, Jeannette Williams-Parker – “Nettie” to her many friends and co-workers, who she described affectionately as her “work family” – lived a life filled with love, peace, and many, many adoring friends, family members, and co-workers. She was engaged to Bryan Inghram, also an employee at Ruby (in dietary), and her 18-year old daughter, Haley, is experiencing her first semester at WVU as a nursing student.

Jeannette was a clinical nurse preceptor and nurse supervisor of MRI. She joined the MRI team at Ruby in March of 1997 and was the first nurse to work in that program. At the time of her death, she was the nursing leader for all pediatric anesthesia coordination and our focused ultrasound MRI program. I’m told that Jeannette lived on the sunny side of life, and that her energy, enthusiasm, and positive attitude were all highly infectious and helped sustain the MRI team. The patients for whom she cared likewise adored her. And while I never had the opportunity to meet Jeannette, honoring and remembering her is important, as is celebrating her life and recognizing her many contributions to WVU Medicine.

Jeannette’s passing is also an unwelcome reminder that COVID-19 remains with us. Our collective hope is that one day soon we can resume our daily lives and put all of this behind us. Unfortunately, we just aren’t there yet, and regrettably, the loss of someone who was so cherished as “Nettie” reminds us that we still have some tough days ahead.

I continue to believe one of the best ways we can honor people, such as Jeannette and the many more who’ve worked the frontlines since the beginning of the pandemic, is to recognize that we are still in the midst of a pandemic and that as healthcare workers, we are in a unique position to educate others about the virus, and the simple and reasonable steps that we can all take to help limit its spread. We can flex our collective leadership in honor of these individuals, and make sure we all work to protect one other, especially those most important to us.

For those of you inclined to do so, Jeannette’s daughter has created a Go Fund Me page in honor of her. Please keep Jeannette, her family and friends, as well as her work family, in your thoughts. Thank you.

Kindest regards,

Albert”

Tyler Barker
Tyler Barker is currently the News Director and Digital Content Manager for WOAY-TV. He was promoted to this job in Mid-November. He still will fill in on weather from time to time. You can follow Tyler on Facebook and Twitter @wxtylerb. Have any news tips or weather questions? Email him at tbarker@woay.com