EL PASO, Texas -- A nurse practitioner for Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center who worked at the Rogelio Sanchez State Jail, home to a significant coronavirus outbreak, has died of complications from Covid-19.
The death of 56-year-old Robert 'Bob' Armstrong last month is one of the latest among several hundred front-line healthcare workers nationwide who have suffered virus-related deaths. He's also among a growing list of workers in jail and prisons, compiled by the American Correctional Association, who have lost their lives to the virus.
The Rogelio Sanchez State Jail where Armstrong worked has been hard-hit by Covid-19, recording roughly 300 confirmed virus cases among inmates and staff during the pandemic.
Armstrong was described by those who knew him as "a hero in every sense of the word."
“Bob was one of the most dedicated, committed professionals that I have had the opportunity to work with," said Denise DeShields, executive medical director of TTUHSC Managed Care. "His dedication to Managed Care and the Sanchez facility were unparalleled and he will be sorely missed.”
She added that Armstrong had a "golden heart" and was found by both patients and co-workers alike "to be intelligent, articulate and skilled."
An online obituary indicates Armstrong was a graduate of El Paso's Andress High School who earned his nursing degree and his nurse practitioner certification with TTUHSC. The Texas Department of Criminal Justice said he worked as the facility health administrator for Sanchez from 1998-2002 and had been the nurse practitioner assigned to the jail since 2012 up until he died on June 16.
Armstrong is survived by his wife, who is a doctor, and two grown children, as well as his parents who still reside in El Paso.
Armstrong's obituary summed up his life as follows: "Bobby's goal every waking moment was to make people laugh, and he succeeded. He thrived on creating joy in the lives of others."