Cindee Kasey, 58, died on Wednesday at Lakeland Regional Health Medical Center.
"She was just the sweetest, fun-loving nurse you could ever ask for," commented one of her best friends, Michelle Montero, a kindergarten teacher at REAL Academy where they both worked. "Everybody loved her."
Montero says Kasey was one of several people at REAL that got COVID-19 since the new school year began.
"We came back to school, and it was just spreading like wildfire," she said.
That did not prevent Kasey from getting the virus.
Several weeks ago, Kasey was hospitalized. All she could think about, according to Montero, was a Rolling Stones concert she had tickets for this fall.
"We would talk every day," Montero shared. "She would tell me, I’m getting out of here because I am going to that concert. Unfortunately, sadly…it didn’t work, and she passed."
Montero says she suspects that Kasey was vaccinated because she was a nurse, but she is not sure.
Every year, REAL plants a vegetable patch. This year, it is going to be named ‘Cindee’s Garden’, in Kasey’s honor.
Kasey died within hours of another Polk County school employee, 24-year-old Auburndale High School marine science teacher D'Anthony Dorsey.