An intensive care unit nurse working on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic has died from the deadly virus.
Gary Woodward, a nurse in Nashville, Tennessee, died on November 28. According to People, the 64-year-old passed away at Ascension Saint Thomas West Hospital, the same facility where he worked as an ICU team leader for the past 25 years.
According to his obituary, Woodward got sick with COVID-19 in late October and was eventually hospitalized.
“We knew that there was a good risk that either one of us could end up testing positive,” his wife Jacque Woodward, who also works in the healthcare industry, told WKRN. “This is the first time he’s ever been in the hospital for an overnight stay. He has no, you know, no other diagnosis.”
Woodward had to be put on a ventilator and dialysis after suffering kidney failure. He also experienced COVID-19 complications such as a body temperature of 93 degrees and rapid heart rate.
“This virus has taken a healthy man with no prior medical conditions and impacted every organ in his body,” his wife added.
The CEO of Ascension Saint Thomas West hospital, Fahad Tahir, provided WTVR a comment.
"For those of you who did not have the honor of knowing Gary, he was something fierce and a true embodiment of our Mission at Ascension Saint Thomas,” Tahir said.
“As witnessed in his dedication to his calling since the beginning of this pandemic, Gary’s love for his patients was remarkable and inspiring,” he added. “We are truly better for having Gary as part of our Ascension Saint Thomas family.”
Woodward was born and raised in Kentucky and graduated from Madisonville Community College in 1994 before working for the hospital.
In his obituary, he is described as a “mentor to countless nurses and other team members” who “truly had a servant’s heart and did all he could to provide the best care for his patients and his coworkers.”
Woodward is survived by his wife, his three daughters, and his six grandchildren.