‘She was just that – a presence’: AU nurse’s COVID-19 death shakes many

Published: Aug. 10, 2020 at 6:13 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - A terrible loss for many as an Augusta University nurse manager lost her battle with COVID-19. Her family and friends are heartbroken, but the community around them has stepped up to help in a big way.

"To know that she's the one that gets it, and it takes her."

Yolanda Coar was a bright light in the midst of a dark time, and a glimmer of hope in a season with seemingly no end.

“It’s hard to articulate Yolanda’s presence in your life, a room, in her profession,” Nancy English said. “She was just that — a presence.”

English was Yolanda’s aunt, but even saying that in the past tense is strange for her. It’s even stranger and harder to think that the healthy 40-year-old mother of two is no longer with them.

“I don’t think any of us possessed the strength or the comprehension or the ability to wrap our minds around this,” English said.

Coar’s co-workers at AU are struggling with the same thing. Coar went from treating people on the frontlines to being treated herself.

“The Augusta University team is really hurting right now because of the loss of such a valued team member, and just such a wonderful person,” Dr. Phillip Coule, chief medical officer for AU Health, said.

Coule says she left her mark as a positive leader during her 13 years there.

With the outpouring of support for the family, there’s no doubt she left a memorable mark. More than $75,000 has been raised and people are bringing meals to the family until the middle of September.

“Augusta community. Unbelievable. Unbelievable. You are inspiring. We are beyond grateful,” English said.

The family says they feel lifted and filled with hope because while on the surface, it may look like a dark virus won but those lights don’t burn out if someone keeps them lit.

“We could not be more grateful for having been blessed to have Yolanda in our lives, and to provide a light that we promise to carry on for her,” English said.

If you would like to help this family, they say they will need support for childcare and medical expenses. You can donate to the GoFundMe for Yolanda’s family.

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