Polk County school nurse dies of COVID-19 hours after teacher succumbs to virus


A Polk County School System nurse has died of COVID-19 and the community mourns the beloved caregiver’s contributions to children.

Cindee Kasey, 58, died Wednesday at Lakeland Regional Health Medical Center.

“She was the sweetest, funniest nurse you could ask for,” commented one of her best friends, Michelle Montero, a teacher at REAL Academy where they both worked. “Everyone loved him.”

Montero says Kasey was one of several people at REAL who contracted COVID-19 since the start of the new school year.

“We came back to school and it was spreading like wildfire,” she said.

This did not stop Kasey from catching the virus.

Several weeks ago, Kasey was hospitalized. All she could think of, according to Montero, was a Rolling Stones concert she had tickets for this fall for.

“We were talking every day,” Montero explained. “She would say to me, I’m getting out of here because I’m going to this concert. Unfortunately, unfortunately… it didn’t work, and she passed away.”

Montero says she suspects Kasey was vaccinated because she was a nurse, but she isn’t sure.

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Every year, REAL plants a vegetable garden. This year, it will be named “Cindee’s Garden”, in honor of Kasey.

Kasey died hours after the death of another Polk County school worker, D’Anthony Dorsey, 24, a marine science teacher at Auburndale High School.

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