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Family remembers woman who died after testing positive for coronavirus at Athens nursing home

Sandy Blankenship was a resident at the Life Care Center of Athens where 54 residents have tested positive for COVID-19.

ATHENS, Tenn. — Sandy Blankenship, 71, died early Wednesday morning after testing positive for coronavirus at the Life Care Center of Athens, according to her family.

Blankenship was a resident at the Athens nursing home where 54 residents have tested positive for COVID-19.

Her daughter, Crystal McCullough, said it happened fast.

Blankenship had a low-grade fever on Thursday, April 23 and was put in isolation as a precaution. Her test results came back Saturday and at 1 a.m. Monday morning, she was taken to Starr Regional Medical Center in Athens.

She died Wednesday morning just after midnight, her son, Keith Blankenship, said.

RELATED: 'This thing really is real' | 54 infected as COVID-19 spreads in East TN nursing home

RELATED: Son says his mother died after testing positive for COVID-19 at Athens nursing home where 54 residents got the virus

McCullough said staff at the hospital put a phone to her mother’s ear so the family could say goodbye.

“She was an amazing woman. She was loved and touched every person she met," McCullough said.