Daughter of Arlington nurse who died from COVID-19 hopes her story reminds people to be safe

An Arlington nurse lost her battle against COVID-19 after contracting the virus while at work, at least that's where her daughter believes she got it.

Emeregilda Kanney loved nursing, which was her job of 40 years. She loved it so much, she even dressed as a healthcare worker for Halloween. She was a home healthcare RN, but died from COVID-19 complications last week.

"She was a saint," her daughter, Rebecca Kanney, said. "My mom was my best friend."

Rebecca said her mom became ill in early December. She was fatigued, had chills and difficulty breathing.

The 65-year-old was diabetic. Her daughter took her to the hospital when she realized her symptoms were worsening. Soon, she was placed on a ventilator.

"You know, she was incoherent the whole entire time," Rebecca recalled.

Hospital staff did a video chat so Rebecca could speak to her mother before she passed.

"I saw her face, and her face was black, her face was purple where it started to deteriorate," she said. "I told her that I loved her and that I was going to take care of my dad and that she didn’t have to worry anymore."

Rebecca believes her mother caught the virus while working.

"She caught it from a family," she said.

Rebecca added that it’s surreal knowing she’s gone. She keeps her mother’s nursing badge attached to a teddy bear that belonged to her late grandmother.

"It brings me comfort that she’s with my grandmother," she explained.

As far as the nursing profession, she said it was the patients who really kept her mother going.

"They just loved her," she added. "100 percent."

Now, with patients across North Texas suffering, she wants her mother’s story to serve as a reminder that the coronavirus can impact anyone, and people should be safe.

"You know, you might recover from it, you might not," Rebecca said.