A Kentucky doctor who repeatedly urged residents to wear face masks and follow CDC health guidelines has died of COVID-19.
Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear paid tribute to Dr. Rebecca Shadowen after she died from the virus on 9/11.
“I am heartbroken to hear of the disappearance of Dr. Rebecca Shadowen, a frontline heroine who worked tirelessly to protect the lives of others,” Beshear wrote.
“Please,” Beshear urged, “follow Dr. Shadowen’s advice: wear a mask in his honor.”
Even before the country was ravaged by the virus, Shadowen was doing everything he could to keep the Kentuckians safe and educated.
“If you could save another person’s life without harming your own, would you?” Shadowen wrote to her Facebook followers on March 13. “Although we are (fiercely) individuals, we still live as a community.”
Shadowen, an infectious disease specialist, was a vocal advocate of social distancing, face masks, and other guidelines intended to keep Americans healthy.
‘Wouldn’t it be great if we could make the Bowling Green area the least affected by the Coronavirus (COVID-19)! Not only do we get the award, we create it! ‘he wrote on Facebook four days later.
‘I’ve always described Bowling Green as a “special sweet spot” because of everything we have and everything we are here. It is our home.
“We try to be the only community taking action now to isolate us and live by recommendations to stop the spread by blocking in-person exposure to others.”
But in May, Shadowen suddenly fell ill while offering advice as part of the Bowling Green-Warren County Coronavirus Working Group.
NBC News reports that Shadowen first complained of exhaustion, but later said she felt short of breath and was rushed to the hospital.
Her husband, David, told NBC News that Shadowen was transferred between local hospitals for the next four months while being treated for the coronavirus.
She was sometimes placed on a ventilator and admitted to the intensive care unit when her symptoms became severe.
“There have been multiple times when he thought about turning the corner and we thought he was on the road to recovery,” David told the publication.
When Shadowen was feeling particularly strong, she would keep working by continuing to work from her hospital bed and sharing information about the coronavirus.
Even though I’m not home yet, I’m going through a very long recovery period and making slow progress here at Bowling Green. Which, by the way, is the most beautiful place on the planet with the most wonderful people, “he wrote on Facebook in July.
But he later suffered from abdominal bleeding and weakened lungs due to complications from the virus. Shadowen died at the age of 62, surrounded by her husband and two children.
Shadowen and David, whose doctor he was also, were college sweethearts who attended Western Kentucky University and later enrolled at the University of Louisville School of Medicine together.
While at Bowling Green Medical Center, Shadowen was known to colleagues for her extensive medical knowledge, as well as her assistance with medical students and residents.
After she got sick, Shadowen continued to support face masks and, when she learned new information, she sent a group message to others regardless of the weather.
Shadowen believed that simply putting on a mask could curb the coronavirus.
Dennis Chaney, vice president of auxiliary services at the medical center, told NBC News: “He said,” Look folks, this is not politics. This is science. ”I have heard this many times.
According to David, he believed that his wife had contracted the disease from a home health assistant who had infected his elderly mother. Both he and the couple’s daughter Kathryn tested positive.
Before it tested positive, Shadowen visited a local church, sat down at a pew, and prayed.
He was in conflict with the risks associated with the coronavirus and his responsibilities as a health care worker during the pandemic.
“He said,” We all have a responsibility, “Adam Shourds, senior pastor of Broadway United Methodist Church, told NBC News.
“My role is important, but it’s no more important than anyone else’s.”
When scheduled to be placed on a fan, Shrouds said she sent him a message that “This is not the end.”
“He fought the virus harder than anyone else because he knew how to do it,” Shrouds said.
A funeral service and visit took place this week, prompting former patients and their loved ones to get closer to the Shadowen family.
Some of them shared the same sentiment. “Today I’m alive because he saved my life,” or “He saved my mom’s life,” Dave told NBC News.
Kathryn, 23, said people often stopped her mother in public to thank her for her tireless and extraordinary work.
“It was really powerful to be the son of someone who saved people,” Kathryn said. ‘Many children think of their parents as heroes. Mine actually was.
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