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Merit Health nurse of 23 years dies with COVID-19 complications

NATCHEZ — A Merit Health Natchez registered nurse, who worked in the hospital’s emergency department for 23 years, died Friday from complications related to COVID-19.

Sandra Powell had been hospitalized and fighting a roller coaster battle with COVID since mid-November 2020. She was hospitalized at Merit Health Madison at the time of her death. She was transferred there in mid-December after being put on a ventilator.

Merit Health acknowledged her passing in a statement on its Facebook page Friday night.

“Our Merit Health Natchez family mourns the loss of one of our own, Sandra Powell. We observed a moment of silence today in her honor and remembrance and offered up a pray of thanksgiving for the blessing she has been to all of us,” according to the statement. “She dedicated 25 years to serving and helping others as a registered nurse in our Emergency Department.”

Shannon Russ, nursing director of the Emergency Department, described Sandra as “a familiar face with a sweet spirit and a wicked sense of humor,” according to the statement.

Merit Health Natchez officials said, “She leaves behind her legacy of continued compassionate care in her two children, registered nurses Kody Greene and Josh Powell, who work respectively in our Women’s Center and Intensive Care Unit. Our prayers and heartfelt condolences are with her family and all who had the honor and privilege of working side by side with her in our emergency department.”

Russ began a GoFundMe campaign when she was transferred to Merit Health Madison to help her family raise funds to make it through the holidays.

Russ posted on her Facebook page Friday evening that visitation is set for 10 a.m. Tuesday with funeral to follow at 11 a.m. at Washington Baptist Church. Burial will follow in Greenlawn Cemetery immediately following.

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