Her sister was one of 73 COVID deaths at Brighton nursing home. A story of love and tragic loss.

Jamie Worthy-Smith has seen death up close. She sat bedside when her parents passed away in years past. But while they died peacefully, her sister gasped for air, her lungs gurgling for days before COVID-19 took her last breath on April 18.

“My sister did not go peacefully,” said Worthy-Smith, 53, of Kennedy Township. “My sister suffered.”

Worthy-Smith’s sister, Kim McCoy-Warford, is one of 73 residents who, as of Aug. 25, died of coronavirus at the Brighton Rehabilitation and Wellness Center in Beaver County.

McCoy-Warford was 64.

The nationwide visitor ban in nursing homes meant Worthy-Smith watched her older sister struggle to breathe for two days over Facetime. She felt helpless.

Located 36 miles northwest of Pittsburgh, Brighton has weathered the state’s worst outbreak and one of the nation’s worst with 447 COVID infections among staff and residents.

Related story: How one Pittsburgh-area nursing home avoided a

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