Family and friends wore white T-shirts and masks featuring Yulanda Hodge’s face, while her former health care co-workers wore purple union shirts Tuesday in support of the woman who died from COVID-19 last month.
Hodge, 48, of North Las Vegas was a steward and diet clerk for Dignity Health and a member of SEIU Nevada Local 1107. She died July 18 after being hospitalized for nearly three weeks, her family said Tuesday night, when dozens of people lit candles and told stories about the mother of two daughters, ages 23 and 25.
“It was such a huge shock when she passed” was all Dajanae Brown, 23, could manage to say as she thought of her mother’s death.
A short ceremony was held outside Hodge’s most recent workplace, St. Rose Dominican Hospital, San Martin campus, in southwest Las Vegas, and a candlelight vigil followed at St. Rose Dominican Hospital, Siena campus, in Henderson.
“I was devastated when she died,” said friend Sheila Potter, 52, of northwest Las Vegas.
Potter said Hodge worked at the San Martin campus for about two years but had been with Dignity Health for nearly 10.
“She was always there to lend a hand and help others find a voice,” said union President Kevin Carey.
Montoya Brown, 30, said her aunt was always there for her.
“It amazes me to see how many people she’s impacted over time,” she said. “She was that strong person in the family.”
Hodge’s cousin Stephanie DeBose, 50, said she underestimated how dangerous the virus was until her cousin contracted it. She called it a “totally unexpected scenario.”
“I didn’t know it was serious until she got it,” she said, holding back tears. “I’m going to miss her. This is hard for sure. I’m trying to hold it together.”
Olga Bradley, a telemetry technician for Dignity Health and a union member, said she fears for her colleagues after the fate Hodge faced.
“We’re all health care workers,” she said. “We put ourselves at risk every day we come to work.”
Contact Sabrina Schnur at email@example.com or 702-383-0278. Follow @sabrina_schnur on Twitter.