BEREA, ky. (LEX 18) — It's a sportswriter's job to follow the jersey numbers on the field and pay attention to the statistics.
After a journalist from Berea lost his mother to COVID-19 last October, he says he wants a different type of number to have more meaning than just a number.
"She thought of other people before herself," said Keith Taylor of his mother, 68-year-old Donna Reed.
Reed is one of more than seven thousand Kentuckians to die from COVID-19.
"It was like an atomic bomb inside her body," said Taylor, who writes for Kentucky Today and is the publisher at the Berea Citizen. "If you were climbing a mountain, she'd be right there with you."
Taylor couldn't see his mother for a month before she passed, except for the last day.
"I stayed maybe a minute and a half and left," he said. "I said 'bye mom, I love you.' It was hard. Still is."
Taylor has been selected by Governor Andy Beshear to serve on the Team Kentucky COVID-19 Memorial Community Advisory Panel. This memorial will honor and remember those who have passed from COVID-19.
"Those people are very important," Taylor said. "Every single one of them. Important part of Kentucky. We're all Kentuckians, we're in this together."
Taylor says the goal is to honor and remember those who have passed from COVID-19 and to remember their names and legacies.
"I will do my utmost best to make sure they're recognized in the right way and to make the family members proud of who they were," Taylor said.
“Keith's mother and the other 7,820 Kentuckians we have lost to this heinous virus are more than a name and a number. This permanent memorial will recognize those lost to this deadly virus, as well as highlight the sacrifice, determination and perseverance Kentuckians have shown over these past 18 months. I am honored that Keith and others who have lost loved ones or have served on the front lines have agreed to help advise me as we build an enduring memorial on Capitol grounds.” – Gov. Andy Beshear