School bus driver dies from COVID weeks before she was set to retire


A school bus driver passed away from COVID mere months before she was set to retire.

Gail Brusseau was a school bus driver in Clay County, Florida for 26 years and planned to retire in December.

When her husband, Bill Brusseau, pleaded that she retire sooner, she said, “No, I want to go one more year," according to News4Jax.

However, the 66-year-old fell ill with coronavirus just a few weeks after the school year began.

"About the third week of school, she started feeling sick. So, we both went and got tested. She tested positive. I tested negative,” her husband said.

"We went to our family doctor right away. Our family doctor did a test and that one was positive and he strongly urged her to be taken to the hospital and I took her to Orange Park [Medical Center]," he added.

The outlet notes she was placed in the intensive care unit where she remained for 31 days in a semi-comatose state.

"She had to be sedated and she couldn't speak, but she could hear. So what the nurses would do is put the phone up to her ear. I would talk to her. I would sing to her,” he explained.

Gail had plenty of visitors as her husband said that he and the kids went to the hospital everyday despite her state.

Unfortunately, she was later put on life support and died on October 9, just two months before she was set to retire.

"Her wishes were not to live on life support," her husband explained.

The Clay County District Schools released a statement that it conducted contact tracing and notified individuals who had to quarantine.

It also assured that the transportation department was following COVID-19 safety protocols and procedures including facial coverings on busses, mandatory sanitization when boarding and deboarding, and students sitting in assigned seats.

However, Bill raised concern, saying that the protocols haven’t been strictly enforced.

"She was taken from me because some people don't seem to understand that this COVID thing can hit anybody. We are all in this together, and we are all in this together not just to protect ourselves, but to protect each other. That didn't happen here and that's how she got it," he told the outlet.

The school district released a statement following her death, writing, "We are deeply saddened by the passing of our employee, Gail Brusseau. We want to extend our sincere condolences to her family and friends."

"Gail was dedicated to Clay County District Schools working as a bus driver for more than 20 years. We are thankful for her service and will honor her legacy," the statement added.

In addition to her husband, Gail is survived by her four children, nine grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.

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