Family, community mourns local nurse practitioner who lost battle with COVID-19

Coronavirus

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — A local nurse practitioner who was trying to protect others from COVID-19, is being mourned after losing his life to the virus.

For four years, Steve Neher was a Nurse Practitioner with NaphCare. He treated patients at the Falkenburg Road Jail with the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.

As an nurse practitioner, Steve worked in a variety of roles providing patient care.

Health Service Administrator for NaphCare, Inc. Jeff McIntyre told 8 On Your Side in an email:

“Steve was a passionate frontline hero who will be greatly missed. He brought enthusiasm and an incredible sense of humor into everything he did – whether caring for a patient or mentoring a colleague, Steve put a smile on everyone’s face and made them feel important. The NaphCare family mourns with Steve’s family at the loss of our colleague and friend. And we thank all of our frontline heroes for their bravery and dedication every day.”

A spokeswoman with the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office confirmed with 8 On Your Side that Neher was a contracted employee through their medical vendor, NaphCare.

Christian Riddell was Steven Neher’s partner for 10 years. They did everything together, including owning Tipsy Candle Company for the last six years.

“He loved sharing what we did with the community,” Riddell said. “Steven was bigger than life.”

Neher tested positive for COVID-19 a little more than a month ago. His health recently took a turn for the worse. After weeks in the hospital, Neher lost his battle with the virus Tuesday morning.

“He saved so many lives and I thought his life would be saved,” Riddell said. “There was no reason he should have passed away, this virus is terrible.”

Riddell said although Neher did everything to not catch COVID-19, such as always wearing his mask, he believes his partner may have got the virus while caring for others at the jail.

“Don’t get too tired to wear your mask,” Riddell said. “You’re saving someone’s life or your own, and although I didn’t think someone healthy could get it he did.”

Riddell said Neher was a first responder for many years. He was also the past president of the Air and Surface Transport Nurses Association.

“The contributions he made impacted a lot of people, the patients he cared for locally are impacted because he won’t be in the community anymore,” ASTNA President Josh Wall said.

Neher’s aunt started a GoFundMe while he was in the hospital. You can donate here.

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