Georgia Nurse and Mom of 2 Dies After Battling COVID-19: 'This Virus is Real'

Yolanda Coar leaves behind two sons — 8-year-old Evan and 4-year-old Maddox — and her husband, Matt Coar

Yolanda Coar
Photo: Facebook

A Georgia nurse has died after being hospitalized with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). She was 40.

Yolanda Coar, an Augusta University nurse manager who was beloved by her community, died on Sunday, her family confirmed in a statement on a GoFundMe page.

"It is with great sadness and a heavy heart that we announce the passing of our beloved Yolanda Coar today due to unforeseen complications from Covid-19," the statement read.

"Our family would like to thank everyone for all of the prayers and support over the last three weeks. The community really came together for Yolanda. Please continue to pray for us and these boys that she loved so much."

Coar leaves behind two sons — 8-year-old Evan and 4-year-old Maddox — and her husband, Matt Coar.

Yolanda Coar

According to the crowdfunding page, Coar was admitted to Augusta University Medical Center on July 19th.

She later had to be intubated and was placed on a ventilator before she then developed serious cardiac complications that required surgery.

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Previous updates to the GoFundMe page shared that Coar had been making progress, even noting that she was making "baby steps in the right direction" at one point.

In the last update on Aug. 3, the page read that Coar was successfully weaned off her ventilator and her breathing tube was removed, but six days later, her family announced her death.

Coar was described as a "devoted friend, nurse, sister and daughter," and as a woman with "a heart of gold."

Jay Jefferies, a weatherman from FOX54, was treated by Coar after he had heart surgery years ago, and said, "It's hitting home," when he discussed the news of her illness back in July.

"On that front line it's nothing to play with, of course, you see that," he added. "She has a heart of gold."

Coar's Aunt, Nancy English, told a local news channel, "It’s hard to articulate Yolanda’s presence in your life, a room, in her profession."

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"She was just that — a presence," she added. "I don’t think any of us possessed the strength or the comprehension or the ability to wrap our minds around this."

Coar’s co-workers at AU are also dealing with her loss and how she went from treating people on the frontlines to being treated herself.

"The Augusta University team is really hurting right now because of the loss of such a valued team member, and just such a wonderful person," Dr. Phillip Coule, chief medical officer for AU Health, said.

"This is an unfortunate reminder in the community that this virus is real, and it affects real people every day," Coule added.

As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments. PEOPLE has partnered with GoFundMe to raise money for the COVID-19 Relief Fund, a fundraiser to support everything from frontline responders to families in need, as well as organizations helping communities. For more information or to donate, click here.

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