Local nurse who treated COVID-19 patients now fighting for her life, sick with virus

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LEE’s SUMMIT, Mo. — A frontline coronavirus hero is hurting.

The mother of a nurse from Jackson County said her daughter is fighting for her life, having come down with COVID-19.

Now, the family of 29-year-old Ashley Arrowood is holding out for a miracle.

Arrowood’s mother, Vickie Arrowood, said the nurse heard a calling to help pandemic patients. She couldn’t have dreamed it would lead her to a hospital bed of her own.

Vickie said Ashley quit her job at one metro hospital to move to St. Louis, where she spent six weeks working with COVID-19 patients. Ashley moved home last week, her mother said, and felt sick within a day.

Now, the nurse is on a ventilator at St. Luke’s Hospital, where she’s receiving oxygen to battle the virus.

“It’s been terrible, and I can’t go see her. That’s the hardest part, not being able to go see her,” Vickie said.

Ashley is an only child. The nurse is a Disney fanatic, one who also loves rock concerts.

Vickie said her daughter was dedicated to helping people overcome COVID-19, and she felt she could help the most in St. Louis. Thus far, COVID-19 has killed more than 115,000 Americans.

“She’s all I have,” Vickie said. “I’m at a loss for words. I don’t know what to do without her.”

Arrowood’s nursing colleagues are holding out hope for a miracle.

Taylor Wilmes, who worked five years in a metro hospital with Ashley, knows the struggle coronavirus patients face. Wilmes helped organize a GoFundMe page to help with Ashley’s expenses.

“I think we all have a lot of hope. We’re all trying to pray and pray over her and lift her up since we can’t be that presence there with her,” Wilmes said. 

Vickie said for now, her daughter is in a sedated state. Doctors told the family that would help her take in more oxygen and help her heal more quickly.

Friends and family plan to gather in the courtyard outside St. Luke’s Hospital on the Plaza at 8 p.m. Friday for a special prayer service.

Hospital administrators told FOX4 the hospital campus remains closed to visitors, so they’re asking everyone to pray or meditate from their homes at that precise hour.

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