Lost on the front lines: AU Health nurse who died of COVID-19 memorialized on national stage

Nurse in hospital
Augusta University Health Nurse Manager Yolanda Coar died Aug. 9.

Yolanda Coar, an Augusta University Health nurse manager who died Aug. 9 at age 40 after contracting COVID-19, has been remembered both on the national stage and at home in Augusta this week.

The Democratic National Convention honored Coar in a video memorial to people who have lost their lives to COVID-19.

Coar’s photo is featured in the beginning of a video that ends with a view of a face made up of a mosaic of many other faces, with the words: “In Memoriam … To the more than 160,000 people who have died, including over 900 healthcare workers.”

Also this week, Dr. Phillip Coule, AU Health chief medical officer, was interviewed by Anderson Cooper on CNN about the loss of Coar.

 

 

“She was a bright, shining example of what a nurse leader should be, and was just loved by her colleagues. Her motto was ‘Be Exceptional’ and she definitely lived that every day,” Coule said.

According to Coar’s obituary, she was passionate about helping others and was working toward her master’s in nursing. She had been an AU Health employee for over 13 years. She is survived by her husband and two sons, along with many other family members and friends.

AU Health staff also remembered Coar with a balloon release Thursday morning.

“Our staff are working incredibly hard to take care of COVID patients in spite of [the health risks],” Coule told CNN. “And we have had several other staff members that became ill. This would be our third staff member that we’ve lost to COVID-19, and it is a sad time for the team. But overall the team is working incredibly hard, providing excellent care in spite of all of that.”

Learn how you can support our AU heroes with meal donations and more. University employees are also encouraged to sign up for the new Paw Pals program to provide encouragement to our frontline health care workers during the pandemic.

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