Health & Fitness

Jeannette Williams-Parker, a nurse at a virus hotspot, dies on the age of 48

This obituary is part of a series about people who died from the coronavirus pandemic. Read about others here.

Jeannette Williams-Parker loved rock music from the 1980s and 1990s. She played AC / DC and Prince while driving or cleaning the house. The big, loud thump spoke to her mischievous side, starting with her childhood: the 2-year-old who ran naked down the street when it was bath time; The young daredevil who rumbled down the hill on his ferris wheel and scared her mother half to death.

Ms. Williams-Parker, known as Netty, also had a caring side. She was a nurse for 26 years, the last 23 years with J.W. Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown, W.Va.

"She went beyond her job description," said her daughter Haley Parker in a telephone interview. At one point Ms. Williams-Parker noticed that the parents of a sick child had spent long hours in the hospital and arranged for them a change of clothes and a meal.

She died on September 30th in the hospital where she worked. She was 48. The cause was complications from Covid-19, said her daughter.

Ms. Williams-Parker was the first West Virginia nurse to die from the new coronavirus, said Julie Huron, executive director of the West Virginia Nurses Association; two other nurses have since died from it.

West Virginia was the last state in the country to report a confirmed case of the virus on March 17, and the numbers stayed low throughout the spring. But as in many largely rural areas, the state has seen an increase in cases recently.

It is not clear how or where Ms. Williams-Parker contracted the virus. Her fiancé Bryan Ingram fell ill with what he believed to be a sinus infection. Soon he and then Ms. Williams-Parker tested positive for Covid-19. On the Saturday before her death, she called her mother, Ruth Bagwell, to say she was short of breath and had a fever. She was taken to the hospital by ambulance on Monday. She was gone on Wednesday.

"She just never thought it would happen to her," said Ms. Bagwell.

Jeannette Delphia Williams was born on July 17, 1972 in Fairmont, West Virginia. Her mother worked as a cook for the Marion County Board of Education. Her father Roy Williams was a miner.

Ms. Williams-Parker graduated from Fairmont State University with a degree in Nursing and spent three years at CAMC Memorial Hospital in Charleston before joining J.W. Ruby, which serves as the primary clinical education and research location for the West Virginia University School of Medicine.

Ms. Williams-Parker was a nurse at M.R.I. and a Clinical Nurse Teacher, a teacher for newly registered nurses. At her death she was the head of nursing for all coordination of pediatric anesthesia and the ultrasound M.R.I. Program. She was working on her Bachelor of Science in nursing.

In addition to her mother, daughter, and fiancé, Ms. Williams-Parker survived her stepfather, Ron Bagwell. a brother, Bill Williams; a step-brother, Christopher Bagwell; and a stepsister, Natalie Swiger. Her marriage to Brian Parker ended in divorce.

Ms. Williams-Parker wanted her daughter to follow in her footsteps. Instead, 18-year-old Haley signed up for a pre-med program at W.V.U. become a doctor.

As part of a program for the dependents of W.V.U. Medicine. After her mother died, the hospital sent her a letter stating that Haley would no longer receive support because Ms. Williams-Parker was no longer an employee. However, the hospital reversed its decision last week and is now saying it will honor the commitment.

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