‘Our hearts are heavy’: Beloved nurse dies after COVID-19 battle at hospital where she worked

CALDWELL COUNTY, N.C. — A beloved Caldwell County nurse, who many described as a mentor for others, has died after battling COVID-19 for 11 days.

Madalyn McMahan’s daughter wanted to thank the nurses and doctors who helped her mother fight the virus in the very hospital she worked at.

“The very people she worked with side-by-side every day were the ones who took care of her,” G’Lellier Matthews said.

McMahan worked at Caldwell UNC Healthcare. She also battled COVID-19 there.

“Our hearts are heavy as we mourn the loss of our longtime coworker and friend, Madalyn McMahon,” said Laura Easton, president and CEO at Caldwell UNC Healthcare.

McMahon’s family said she contracted the coronavirus in early January and was hospitalized for 12 days before dying on Monday.

Matthews, who was also hospitalized with COVID-19 and now requires oxygen as she recovers, said her mom loved being a nurse and helping others.

“She loved the people there, the small community, and she loved caring for the local community,” Matthews said.

Matthews said her mom loved her church and the people she worked with. She wanted those who cared for her mom to know how much they mean to her.

“They’ll never know how much it means to me and my family,” Matthews said. “The love that they showed her. They cared for her day after day.”

McMahan asked for prayers on her Facebook page shortly after being admitted to Caldwell Me

Matthews told Channel 9′s Dave Faherty that her mother believes she will see loved ones again because of her strong faith.

“She knew where her heart was and that this was not it on this side of eternity,” Matthews said.

Caldwell Memorial plans on holding a ceremony for McMahan’s coworkers and said employees plan on decorating a tree in remembrance of her.

“Madalyn was known by all the nursing, respiratory and medical staff as the matriarch of the night shift on the Telemetry Unit,” said Rebecca T. Smith, chief nurse and COO at the hospital.

Smith said McMahan was competent and sincere when caring for patients. McMahan was also known as a reliable and dependable employee.

“And if you were fortunate enough to be called her friend, you knew she was always there for you,” Smith said.