Beloved South Carolina nurse, 62, dies of Covid-19 after working on the frontline

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A much-loved nurse has died of coronavirus after working in a hospital’s intensive care unit for three decades – just a week before her 92-year-old mother also died of the illness.

Patricia Edwards, known as Nurse Pat, died at Bon Secours St. Francis in Greenville, South Carolina – surrounded by her colleagues – on August 19.

She had worked the night shift between 7pm and 7am at the hospital’s ICU for the past 14 years and was loved by everyone, according to her eldest daughter, Sherie Gamble, 45.

‘My mom was everything to everybody,’ Ms Gamble told NBC News. ‘We knew how much she was loved, but we didn’t know to this magnitude. Nobody was a nurse like Mama.’

Patricia Edwards, known as Nurse Pat, died at Bon Secours St. Francis in Greenville, South Carolina - surrounded by her colleagues - on August 19. Her mother, Rosa Lee Finch Hellams (left), 96, died a week later

Patricia Edwards, known as Nurse Pat, died at Bon Secours St. Francis in Greenville, South Carolina – surrounded by her colleagues – on August 19. Her mother, Rosa Lee Finch Hellams (left), 96, died a week later

Ms Edwards had worked the night shift between 7pm and 7am at the hospital's ICU for the past 14 years and was incredibly loved by everyone, according to her eldest daughter, Sherie Gamble, 45. Pictured, Bon Secours St. Francis in Greenville

Ms Edwards had worked the night shift between 7pm and 7am at the hospital’s ICU for the past 14 years and was incredibly loved by everyone, according to her eldest daughter, Sherie Gamble, 45. Pictured, Bon Secours St. Francis in Greenville

Ms Edwards’ mother, 96-year-old Rosa Lee Finch Hellams, died of coronavirus in a different hospital on August 26, the day after the family buried Ms Edwards. 

Ms Edwards’ family don’t know when she caught the disease, but she was diagnosed on August 7 and rushed to hospital two days later with a high fever and struggling to breathe. 

Some 670 frontline healthcare workers have now died after contracting coronavirus in the US.

Ms Gamble has now decided to set up a scholarship to allow a nursing student to become the kind of nurse her mother was. ‘She was a go-beyond nurse’, Ms Gamble added.

The scholarship had only raised about $700 as of early Tuesday afternoon, but donors have pledged to give more.  

Ms Edwards got her degree from Greenville Technical College while raising her children. 

She then spent 25 years at the Greenville Memorial Hospital System and went on to work as a travelling nurse for two years before joining Bon Secours St Francis.

Ms Edwards' family don't know when she caught the disease, but she was diagnosed on August 7 and rushed to hospital two days later with a high fever when she struggled to breathe. Pictured, Ms Edwards at a concert last year

Ms Edwards’ family don’t know when she caught the disease, but she was diagnosed on August 7 and rushed to hospital two days later with a high fever when she struggled to breathe. Pictured, Ms Edwards at a concert last year

She is survived by a son, four daughters, 13 grandchildren and a set of triplets who are her godchildren.

When Ms Edwards’ daughter Emily Holloway was diagnosed with breast cancer in September 2018, she regularly drove 100 miles to Charlotte, North Carolina, to go to every chemotherapy treatment. 

She would stay over the weekend, cooking enough meals for Ms Holloway and her children to have during the week. 

In a statement to NBC News, Bon Secours St. Francis – Greenville extended its sympathy to Edwards’ family and friends.

‘We pray that they feel surrounded by love and support at this time and always,’ the hospital said.  

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