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Nurse practitioner dies from COVID-19 complications

| July 14, 2020 10:01 AM

BOISE — A nurse practitioner with St. Luke's Children's Pediatrics in Caldwell died Monday from complications related to COVID-19.

Samantha Hickey had been a health care provided for 15 years in Canyon County, part of the time at St. Luke's and part of the time at Saint Alphonsus, according to a St. Luke's virtual press briefing Monday evening.

Hickey, a wife and mother to four children, was 45, which would make her the youngest person in Idaho reported to have died from a confirmed case COVID-19, according to Idaho Department of Health and Welfare data.

She died Monday morning at St. Luke's Meridian Medical Center. Neither St. Luke's nor her husband were aware of any underlying conditions, according to hospital spokeswoman Anita Kissée.

"Knowing Sam and knowing where she was, this was a pretty big shock to the St. Luke's Children's community," St. Luke's children's physician Dr. Alicia Lachiondo said during the briefing.

Hickey's husband told hospital staff he does not want the loss of his wife to be in vain, Lachiondo said.

"He would really think that she would want people to know that this is important, that the recommendations are not made lightly, and all of the work that we're doing in the health care field and the public health field is with the utmost concern for our community in mind," she said.

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare as of 5 p.m. Monday is reporting 500 coronavirus-related hospitalizations and 102 deaths since the state started recording cases in mid-March. Hickey's death is not counted among those, as none of the patients in the state's count were younger than 50. Statewide, 144 people have been admitted to the ICU due to COVID-19, and 760 health care workers have tested positive.

"I think the best way that (Hickey's) patients and her patients' families could honor her would be to take her messages to heart and take this seriously, wear masks in public and in group settings, wash hands, work on social distancing," Lachiondo added. "Know that any actions that you're taking potentially could protect someone else, maybe someone in your circle or maybe someone three circles down. But every precaution that we take is to hopefully prevent as much heartbreak and devastation for families of this valley that we can."

KTVB staff contributed to this report.

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