Honoring Tennessee nurses who have died because of the COVID-19 pandemic

Posted at 1:45 PM, Jan 31, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-31 14:45:44-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Nurses are every day heroes during the pandemic.

On Sunday morning at Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park, the Middle Tennessee Nurses Honor Guard read the names of 19 Tennessee nurses who died in 2020 while working to save lives of patients with COVID-19.

"It's been a very difficult situation," said organization president Shelly Cole, "we want to take care of our patients but when the family can't come in because of safety the only thing we can do is be their family for them. It's heartbreaking."

According to the CDC, there have been more than 1,300 healthcare worker deaths across the country since the pandemic started.

Shelly Cole says this tribute in Nashville is a way to honor the sacrifices many made to fulfill their mission.

The non-profit tells us these are the names of the 19 nurses who passed away in 2020 from the pandemic:

- Denny Gillium
- Neftali "Neff" Rios
- Carol Bompart
- Mary Maynard
- Nina Ruth Toney McReynolds
- Shirley Swart
- Wanda Peppa Key
- Terri Rold-Holmes
- Kenneth Welch
- Evon Knowles
- Dorothy Hubbard
- Vania Underwood
- Gary Woodward
- Sammie Fox
- John Derrick Couch
- Denny Giffiam
- Wynella Badgett
- Betty Bramblett
- Piete J. Ferguson

If you want to honor a nurse that is your friend or family member, you can contact