Celia Lardizabal Marco, a 61-year-old nurse at Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center, died on April 17, just two days after testing positive for the coronavirus.
“It was definitely heartbreaking… She passed away alone, without family by her side,” her son John Marcos said. “The hospital she was admitted in, it was also the hospital she was working in, so at least there were coworkers who knew her.”
Marcos says his mother, who had worked at the hospital since 2004, was working directly with coronavirus patients.
“She knew they needed her and that was all she needed as a reason,” he said.
Due to the shortage of personal protective equipment, Celia only had a surgical mask, rather than an N95 mask, according to her son.
Another nurse at the same hospital says they don’t have the personal protective equipment that they need and that Celia’s death is a reason to “speak up and protect ourselves and our family.”
Meanwhile, Marcos says he will wait to take his mother’s ashes to the Phillippines for a proper memorial.
“I want people to remember she’s not just a regular nurse,” Marcos said. “She went above and beyond and she made the ultimate sacrifice unfortunately.”
The hospital said they lost a vital member of their team and they will continue to provide staff with appropriate levels of personal protective equipment that’s required with existing guidelines by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Marco has set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for his mother’s funeral expenses.