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Daughter of first nurse who died of COVID-19 in the state wants to follow in her mother’s footsteps

Published: Oct. 15, 2020 at 5:37 PM EDT
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MORGANTOWN, W.Va (WDTV) - She was a registered nurse for over 20 years, sharing her passion through her patients, students, coworkers and many others in the community, but Jeanette Williams-Parker was forced to stop her frontline work when she tested positive for COVID-19.

A moment her daughter, Haley Parker thought would come to pass.

“We thought you’ll get it, you’ll be okay, but then there’s a lot you don’t take into account,” said Haley.

Which is why it was hard to believe that the 48-year-old was the first nurse in West Virginia to die of COVID-19.

The WVU Medicine President and CEO released a statement about Parker, saying that although he didn’t know her personally, she was described with many kind words, words that her daughter Haley said only describes part of who she was.

“She gave a lot, and sometimes there wasn’t enough left for her but she was okay with it,” Haley said.

Seeing that her mother was a giving person and loved her career, that passion carried over to Haley at a young age. Now as a freshman in college at WVU, she’s pursuing nursing and hopes to go to med school in the future.

“I told her, ‘I think I want to go to med school’ and she would say, ‘if you go to med school, I’ll be your nurse’ and we would talk about that,” continued Haley.

A future partnership that Haley said came to surface through their close relationship.

“The older I got she became a good friend to me. She lived a lot of things through me," said Haley.

Haley said some advice that her mom gave her that she’ll never forget is to just keep going through life and through her career.

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