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Local nurse dies from COVID-19 complications

Jeannette Williams Parker, a WVU Medicine nurse at J.W. Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown, who tested positive for COVID-19, died Wednesday, Sept. 30 from virus complications.

Parker’s death was publicly announced Tuesday evening by the West Virginia Nurses Association.

A WVU Medicine spokesperson referred comment on Parker’s death to the electronic newsletter of Albert Wright, president and CEO WVU Medicine.

In his newsletter, Wright said Parker, 48, was a clinical nurse preceptor and nurse supervisor of MRI. And at the time of her death, Parker was the nursing leader for all pediatric anesthesia coordination and its 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,” Wright said. “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.”

Wright said Parker’s death – Nettie to her friends – is an unwelcome reminder that the virus is still very present.

“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,” he said. “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.”

Gov. Jim Justice commented on Parker’s death Wednesday during his daily COVID-19 briefing. He also said a nurse at a psychiatric hospital, Mildred Mitchell Bateman Hospital outside of Huntington, also had died from the virus. West Virginia to die of COVID-19-related causes.

“We should continue to remember our first line responders,” Justice said. “They are our heroes.”

Parker, who was a resident of Rivesville, leaves behind a daughter, Haley Parker of Morgantown who is a pre-med student at WVU, Parker also leaves behind her fiancé, Bryan Ingram, her mother and step-father Ruth and Ron Bagwell of Fairmont.

Parker is also survived by her one brother Bill (Stephanie) Williams of Barrackville, one step-brother Christopher Bagwell of Plum Run, step-sister Natalie Swiger of Worthington. She is also survived by her nephews and a niece Evan (Haley Evan (Haley) Williams of Moundsville, Cameron Williams of Morgantown, Brynne Williams of Barrackville and Preston Williams of Barrackville.

A private memorial service will be held for Parker, who will be cremated, at a later date. The West Virginia Nurses Association plans to recognize Parker at its nursing policy summit on March 25, 2021 and at its nursing conference in October 2021.  

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