Widow remembers her greatest loss

Published: Mar. 12, 2021 at 5:37 PM CST
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - An update on a family devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The widow of UAB Police Sgt. Parnell Guyton reminding us about his sacrifice on the front lines.

“I just want everybody to remember him for being the kind, wonderful, gracious and generous spirit. He was so much more than Sgt. Parnell Guyton,” said Fekisha Vaughn Guyton.

Guyton talked to us for the very first time about the husband she called the man of her dreams, UAB Police Sgt. Parnell Guyton.

He captured all of our hearts after he was admitted into the hospital in March just shy of a year ago. He would be there for nearly 60 days, most of it on a ventilator until a breakthrough in June.

He was released from the hospital in June to high fives from doctors, nurses and colleagues and then the hug from his 7-year-old son Andrew.

“I was just so elated, so happy. I was so blessed that he was finally going to join us back at home,” said Guyton.

“Parnell was home with us for three weeks. About three weeks he started feeling sick again and during those three weeks he was in dialysis, still being treated, but he was released from dialysis, and he was feeling great and we spent a lot of time together and he was feeling great, and we had reason to believe that that things would change or he’d be feeling worse. We just thought he was home - and he had beaten everything and we were just enjoying life.”

But the virus had already done so much damage to his body. “It was Sunday, July 19th, he was rushed to the hospital by ambulance, and so after a couple of days of treating him they discovered he had a blockage in his small intestines,” said Guyton.

By July 31st he was gone. This past December, on what would have been their anniversary, Guyton posted a picture from their wedding day.

“It would have been 15 years for us as a married couple. We would have known each other for 20 years, we had plans for this year. We really did. We wanted to celebrate our 15-20 we call our 15-20.”

And in January for her big milestone.

“I decided to go back in get my Masters in social work even though I work in research at UAB.”

He had plans to take off from work and create a whole day, for that graduation, he had plans for that day,” said Guyton.

They had so many plans, that are memories now. “Everything I’ve gone through, everything my son has gone through we don’t want anybody to have to go through what we’ve gone through. The loss of a loved one, it is heartbreaking. All you have to do is wear your mask, social distance, stay six feet apart, wash your hands. That’s all you have to do.”

I asked Guyton, “Does it hurt you when you hear people say COVID is a fake? It’s not real. Is that hurtful?”

Guyton answered, “Very. It’s not hurtful, it angers me. And I have to really work on my anger because it angers me because it’s not a political thing it has nothing to do with politics. Parnell was just out there working, protecting our community. it’s not political. Parnell would have done anything he could to stay here.”

Mrs. Guyton recently received her COVID-19 vaccine shot and urges everyone to get the shot when it is available and to continue practicing COVID safety guidelines.

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