Community grieves young Morgantown mother who died of COVID-19

Ashley Bridges
Ashley Bridges(WBKO)
Published: Oct. 5, 2021 at 11:01 PM EDT
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MORGANTOWN, Ky. (WBKO) - A 38-year-old mother of two, who grew up in Morgantown, but most recently lived in Georgia, has died after a battle with COVID-19. Ashley Bridges was well-known as a person with a kind heart.

“Until you have sat in a room and watched your wife die and go through what she went through, you don’t know what COVID really does to people,” Chad Bridges, Ashley Bridges’ husband said.

Ashley Bridges tested positive for COVID-19 back in mid-August. “Sunday morning, on the 15th, she woke up and tapped me and said I need help,” Chad Bridges said. Soon after, she was hospitalized and told she would need a ventilator.

“We didn’t have any options,” Ashley’s sister Krista Payne said. The small, hospital in the rural area was not able to provide the care she needed. As if worrying about the health of a loved one wasn’t enough, the family soon found themselves looking all over the United States for a hospital that could provide the proper care. In the middle of an uptick in COVID-19 cases, many were full.

“There were none in Georgia, and they started in the Georgia area and just kept moving outward,” Payne explained. Soon, she turned to Facebook, and through a friend, was able to get Ashley into a hospital in Indianapolis.

Over the next couple months, Ashley Bridges would go through many invasive surgeries and treatments for the virus. “We advocated very strongly for them to do anything to keep her with us because she was the best of us,” Payne said.

On September 30th Ashley Bridges passed away, leaving behind two children ages 11 and 17.

“There’s nobody else in this world that is going to love like she did,” her husband Chad Bridges said. Her family said she had a servant’s heart, often volunteering, especially to help the homeless.

She started a shower ministry so that people who found themselves homeless could have a shower,” Payne said. Ashley also was a mental health advocate and volunteered regularly at the Bowling Green Habitat for Humanity.

“There’s not people like her, so it’s a big void in our life,” Chad Bridges said.

When she was first diagnosed with COVID-19, Ashley’s sister Krista said never would have thought it would take her life. “I would have thought absolutely she will be fine,” she said.

Her husband said where he was once hesitant to take COVID-19 precautions, he now realizes the severity of the virus and encourages everyone to take it seriously.

“I would rather have a shot in my arm than someone die from it, or me have to lay in the hospital while my kids watch me go,” he said.

The Morgantown community remarkably came together over the last few months to support the Bridges’ family, from donations to making t-shirts. They even held a drive-by parade in which nearly 150 people participated.

“We can never possibly thank everyone without leaving someone out so our word is just thanks to everybody,” Payne said.

More than 2,000 people also kept up with Ashley’s condition on a Facebook page titled Updates on Ashley.

Ashley’s husband and sister plan to make a non-profit in her honor so that the kindness she spread can continue to carry on. The details are still to come.

Family says Ashley received the first dose of the Covid vaccine before testing positive and adds she did not have any underlying health conditions.

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