BOISE, Idaho — St. Luke's announced on Monday afternoon that one of the nurse practitioners on the St. Luke's Children team in Caldwell died from complications with COVID-19.
A spokesperson for the hospital said 45-year-old Samantha Hickey served Canyon County for over 15 years before her passing and that her death shows the seriousness of the coronavirus pandemic.
Based on data from the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, Hickey is the youngest person to die from the coronavirus in Idaho.
"As a life-long learner and community-minded caregiver, Samantha’s husband and four children say she wanted to make a difference," Anita Kissee said in a statement. "They believe she would want her death not to be in vain, but to serve as a stark reminder that people must do whatever they can to protect themselves and others and take this pandemic seriously."
Hickey worked a total of five years at St. Luke's.
In a St Luke's teleconference, Dr. Alicia Lachiondo spoke of some of Samantha Hickey's nursing colleagues needing to take the day to grieve for their fellow front line healthcare worker, who trained to help young bodies at Caldwell's St Luke's Children's pediatrics clinic heal.
"There's no good way to handle this and to handle a sudden loss. But, we hope that they, now and in the future, her kids know that we really valued all of her hard work and the sacrifice their mom made for the kids in this valley," Dr. Lachiondo said.
"She spent her clinical days caring for patients, training the next generation of nurse practitioners, and advocating for the wellbeing of her community," Kissee said. "Our organization is hurting along with her family and loved ones. Samantha’s death is a heartbreaking consequence of the seriousness of the COVID-19 pandemic."
As of Sunday, July 12, the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare has reported 477 coronavirus-related hospitalizations since the pandemic began.
Statewide, 142 people have been admitted to the ICU due to COVID-19 and 743 healthcare workers have tested positive for the coronavirus.
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