‘He was a great nurse and that was his life’: COVID-19 claims life of Northport nurse

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NORTHPORT, Ala. (WIAT) — A Tuscaloosa County family is grieving the death of a loved one.

60-year-old Jerry Alford, who died two weeks ago from COVID-19 complications, was a nurse at DCH Regional Medical center in Northport.

Valerie Alford was married to her husband for 27 years. She is also a nurse in Northport and says his loss has devastated her family.

“I may have a whole range of emotions in a day,” Valerie Alford said. “I am angry and I get sad, but I feel I have to do this for him.  I have to give him justice because He was a great nurse and that was his life.”

Jerry Alford worked as a nurse for 32 years. Most of his career was spent at Brookwood Hospital in Birmingham. The 60-year-old later transferred to Northport. He also served his country as a United States Marine. His wife says he loved to hunt and fish and never met a stranger.

“He could take control of a room,” she said. “He would talk to anybody about anything. And he could be the biggest jokester with our kids. He loved the outdoors and he was a big hunter and fisherman. And he made sure our kids grew up respecting the outdoors and hunted and fished.”

Valerie Alford says she doesn’t know how or where her husband contracted the virus. She says Jerry was a stickler for keeping clean in the operating room washing his hands and wearing personal protective equipment.

“With him being an operating room nurse, being clean was his thing,” she said. “And with COVID you’ve got to stay safe. And he wanted to keep everybody safe.”

 The family of Jerry Alford is planning a memorial service for him but the date has not been set.

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