Colleagues and friends speak about staffer in the governor's office who died from COVID-19

Colleagues and friends speak about staffer in the governor's office who died from COVID-19
Posted at 10:36 PM, May 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-01 23:36:43-04

"She understood the importance of the things she was speaking about and was not intimidated to tell people in leadership what her personal experiences were and what was the experience of people with disabilities and people listened and they respected it," said Bambi Polozola.

April Dunn was from Baton Rouge, but she has colleagues who became friends here in Acadiana. They say losing April, was a big loss for us all.

Dunn was an advocate for people with disabilities, who put her personal experience to work in the governor's office.

"She was at work all the time, was just a major contributor in our office and the governor's office and will be sadly missed," said Bambi Polozola.

"She was an advocate and that is what she loved," said Melanie Washington.

Bambi Polozola and Melanie Washington, worked with Dunn in the Office of Disability Affairs. All three traveled to New Orleans for conferences in early March, and all three started showing symptoms soon after.

"Melanie and April started having symptoms. I started having symptoms like later in the week and we all eventually got tested found out our results the following week and we all tested positive.," said Polozola.

Polozola and Washington recovered, but for April, the virus continued to progress.

"Whenever it hit she went to the hospital and her mom texted and said they don't think she's gonna make it. So that Friday was a really really hard day for all, it's been a hard month for us but that day was really hard for us to understand," said Polozola.

The following day, April Dunn died from complications with the virus. She was 33-years-old. Dunn's mother contacted Polozola to share the news.

"At that time no one could go to hospital there was nothing you could do to help. The only thing that I could do at that time was be strong for her mom," said Polozola.

Polozola and Washington now want to continue Dunn's legacy and encourage others who are fighting the virus.

"Being that we came out of it we can be a voice for other people especially people who are frightened about what could happen or what's gonna happen. You can make it through it and people who are still suffering and struggling, you just have to continue to life them up lift the families up and be a support system," said Washington.