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Dardanelle woman who dedicated life to helping elderly dies from COVID-19

Kay became sick with a fever and body aches earlier this month. She stayed home, but it got worse.

DARDANELLE, Ark. — We all hear the COVID-19 numbers but there are faces and families behind them, and we are working to share their stories with you. 

One of them is 73-year old Kay Parker.

Miss Parker was a beloved part of her community in Dardanelle. She lived alone and helped at Dardanelle nursing homes with the administration.  

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In fact, she spent her entire working life helping out at nursing homes. 

She was adored by everyone she knew. Her brother in law was the former police chief in town, and she had a daughter and one grandchild who said they still "can't even believe she had it."

Kay became sick with a fever and body aches earlier this month. She stayed home, but it got worse. She was taken to Conway Regional and she died June 19. 

Her daughter Sammye wasn't able to see her.

The last time she spoke to her mom was by phone just before she was placed on a ventilator. Kay's last words were "tell everybody I love em." 

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Sammye agreed to share photos, "for people who think this will never happen to them—it can." 

Her mom stayed in, wore masks, allowed others to grocery shop for her, and there hasn't been an outbreak at a Dardanelle nursing home.

They don't know where she got it.

But out of respect for her and others, her family urges people to please wear a face covering.