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Pasco middle school teacher battling COVID-19 dies

Renee Dermott saw an outpouring of support from her community shortly before her death.

A Pasco middle school teacher who saw an outpouring of support from her community after she was hospitalized with COVID-19 has died, according to a post on a GoFundMe page for her recovery.

After suffering cold-like symptoms, Renee Dermott, 52, was hospitalized July 13. The sixth-grade teacher at Seven Springs Middle School was diagnosed with pneumonia and tested positive for COVID-19.

Tanya Murphy, a friend and co-worker, established a GoFundMe online fundraiser to support the family. It posted Friday. By Sunday afternoon it had raised more than $7,800.

Phone calls and messages of support meant a lot to the teacher, her daughter said.

“She would just get down on herself a lot and I think this was something that she needed to see,” Nicole Dermott, 25, said.

Saturday morning, Dermott seemed to be improving, her daughter said. She was still in the intensive care unit and had been moved from a bipap machine the night before to help with her breathing and sleep apnea, to high flow oxygen. Nicole Dermott seemed to think her mother was on her way to recovery.

“She is up! her energy is up!” she wrote on her Facebook page Saturday night. “Her breathing is better! My mom will get to come home and I will never (maybe) argue with her again until she is 100.”

But Sunday, the GoFundMe page had an update: ““Renee tragically passed away today. She will be dearly missed by everyone,” the page said.

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