A Yukon family is mourning the loss of a nurse who fought on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Hospice and home health nurse Shanda Barnes lost her battle with COVID-19 on January 7.
Barnes was 47 years old and friends said she had a clean bill of health.
Friends and family are still in disbelief COVID-19 took such a selfless mother, daughter and friend.
“She always brought a warm, caring and generous vibe to the room,” said Jim Day, a close friend of Barnes. “Whether that was at work or at home with her family.”
Day said health care was a calling for Barnes.
“Shanda had a way with people in that industry,” said Day. “She brought the love and care into that room and you could see it just be her presence in that room. People feel comfortable.”
It was in mid-December when Barnes began showing symptoms of COVID-19. She would eventually be taken to Integris.
“It just progressed and got into her lungs,” said Day. “She probably spent about a week and a half, two weeks in ICU fighting and COVID ultimately taking a victory there.”
It’s hard to say if Shanda was exposed while working, friends said.
A pandemic didn’t stop Barnes from caring for those who needed it most.
“She definitely had a way to light the room up and lift the mood and make people realize that even in these times, there is joy,” said Day. “The part that I respect about her the most is that she passed that on to her children.”
There is a void that will never be filled again in the Barnes family.
Following Barnes’ death, close friends advocate mask wearing and proper social distancing.
“Some people have taken it (COVID-19) lightly and you can’t take it lightly until it hits in your backyard and then it becomes very real to you,” said Day. “With her passing and seeing what I’ve seen of COVID, its definitely not anything that you want to mess around with.”
A Go Fund Me has been started to help raise money for funeral costs.