Abilene senior living center plants memorial tree for 44 lost to coronavirus

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ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Residents at The Oaks at Radford Hills Healthcare Center planted a memorial tree on Arbor Day to honor 44 residents lost to COVID-19.

Radford Hills got their first case on Oct. 17 of 2020.

“I think every healthcare professional remembers the day they got their first case,” said Radford Hills Administrator Chris Johnson.

An outbreak followed, but the facility says they went full force on COVID-19 compliance in order to slow the spread as much as they could.

“But during that process, we did lose some good people,” said Johnson.

The tree planted will soon have a garden stone sitting at the base with the names of the 44 lost to the virus.

Local Chaplain Charles Goodnight came to give a dedication for the tree.

“It’s put a void there that really can’t be filled, except with memories…..(but) there’s hope as we encourage each other in events like this,” Goodnight says. “There’s hope as we lean on each other every day, remembering those lives that are lost.”

The 44 deaths make up more than 10% of Taylor County’s current COVID-19 death count of 402.

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