Kentucky woman finds nurse who cared for her husband dying of COVID

Published 5:45 am Saturday, November 27, 2021

One recent morning at 3 a.m., Kim Gentry took to Facebook to find the “angel nurse” who cared for her husband as he lay dying of COVID at Lexington’s Baptist Health Hospital.

Gentry wanted to know if her husband was scared and what he had said in his last days. She had only been allowed to go to the hospital 30 minutes before he died. She could only remember that the nurse’s name was Amanda.

“On February 8th this year my husband was taken to Central Baptist by ambulance,” Gentry posted earlier this fall. “He tested positive for Covid and was sent (to) ICU. I wasn’t allowed to be with him and sadly he passed away on (the) 19th.”

“I’m hoping that you can help me find his nurse. Her name was Amanda and she was on duty in ICU at Central around 4 in the afternoon on the 19th when he passed away,” Gentry said on a Facebook page called Ladies of Lexington. “I know she spent most of the day with my husband and I think it would just give me some closure if I got to talk to her. By the time I was allowed to go the hospital he was already almost gone and I don’t even know if he knew I was there.”

“If you know this special nurse angel can you please reach out to (see) if she would be willing to talk to me?” Gentry asked. Gentry couldn’t go to the hospital and see her husband because she had COVID too.

Within eight hours of when Gentry posted her plea, a nursing supervisor at Baptist Health saw it. She contacted a nurse named Amanda Forsythe. Forsythe’s sister-in-law had also seen Gentry’s post.

Forsythe responded.

“Hi Kim Gentry, I took care of your husband… he knew you were there. He loved you very, very much. “ Forsythe said in a post.


Kim and Bobby Gentry met in 1979 in Western Kentucky. They got married in 1981 when she was 22 and he was 46. He helped her raise her son from a former marriage. They were married 39 years. They moved to Lexington when she transferred with Kentucky Utilities. Gentry, an Air Force Veteran, had worked for both Blue Grass Airport and the University of Kentucky in security. He had coronary artery disease, but “still got around good”, Kim Gentry said, until the beginning of year.

In Feburary 2021, when people were first allowed to get the COVID vaccine, he got one. But after he was vaccinated, he tested positive for COVID. He became so weak that Kim Gentry called 911 and an ambulance took him to Baptist Health. She was not eligible at that point to get the vaccine.

Since the coronavirus pandemic broke out in March 2020, the scenario with nurses and family members has been a familiar one across the nation.

Ruth Ann Childers, a spokeswoman for Baptist Health of Lexington, said the hospital has “all these nurses who have stepped in to take the place of family members. They have risen to that challenge during this really difficult time. They are truly on the front line. There are times when family members can’t get there or they can’t be there because the patient is COVID positive.”

“This has been something they have dealt with through out this pandemic or are still dealing with on a daily basis,” Childers said. “This pandemic is not over for us.”

“We had never been apart that much,” Gentry told the Herald-Leader Tuesday. “I didn’t know if he was ready to die. I didn’t know if he was scared.”


The two women met in October in the hospital chapel. They found they were both from Western Kentucky and knew some of same people.

The nurse had told her she wished she could save her 86-year-old husband and send him home with her.

“I was kind of nervous about seeing her,” Forsythe told the Herald-Leader. “Up until the day he passed away, I had only spoken with her on the phone. It was good to see her.”

“She wanted to know if he was scared,” to die, because he decided not to be put on a ventilator, Forsythe said. “He wasn’t. He was at peace with his decision. He said he didn’t think he would ever come off of it” in view of his other health conditions.

Gentry brought Forsythe an angel wing necklace to their meeting.

With Gentry facing her first Thanksgiving without her husband, the women, now Facebook friends, have been thinking of each other.

“I think about her and all of my families,” Forsythe said.

“It’s a hard week,” Gentry said.

Forsythe said it had to be hard to lose someone who had been active just weeks before.

“I hate that it ended the way it did because they were very much in love,” she said. “He just really loved her a lot.”

“He was one of those patients who I really got close to. I went home crying more than once because I knew what was going to happen,” she said.

“To this day, I get teared up about it,” she said.

“It was the most precious special meeting,” Gentry said in a follow-up post to members of Ladies of Lexington. “Lot’s of tears and laughter but also answers for closure.”

“Thank you all from the bottom of my heart for helping me find Amanda. My heart feels just a little more healed today after getting to hug and talk to her,” she said in a post.

As the holiday season approaches, Gentry hopes people will keep nurses and other front-line workers close to heart.

“Keep these special Angels in your daily prayers. They are walking a hard road right now. Yes, they choose their profession they are in and knew that death would be a part of it but not like this. They are as traumatized as the people losing loved ones watching death after death and not being to do anything to save them,” Gentry said.