A new report reveals that days after she planned on finally entering retirement, a nurse from Kansas City with around 40 years of experience unfortunately died after getting infected with the coronavirus.
Per the official press release, Celia Yap Banago, a Kansas City nurse with over four decades of experience in her field, died of COVID-19 after contracting it from one of the patients that she was treating. Her death reportedly happened just a few days before she’s supposed to finally enter a well-deserved retirement period. Now, National Nurses United (NNU) as well as some of her co-workers are hoping that her death will not be for naught and that it will help raise awareness about the battle that healthcare workers are fighting at this time, as well as how the lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) in most hospitals is making this battle harder than it has to be in the first place.
As such, friends, family members and co-workers gathered for a vigil that honors Banago and her life outside of the Research Medical Center (RMC). Because of the pandemic, many attended the vigil via video conference, while NNU shared some footage of the vigil come Sunday on social media.
“Nurses know the best way to honor Celia’s life is to fight to #ProtectNurses and other workers on the front lines of this crisis,” NNU tweeted, quoting a fellow nurse who said the words.
“She loved being a union nurse — that was really important to her. Part of that was expressing concern her for the safety here at the hospital. We had been fighting for appropriate personal protective equipment since January,” another fellow nurse said.
Following this, several nurses from RMC also held protests that call for more PPE, all of which is part of a nationwide demonstration that were held at 16 HCA hospitals. The union also accused HCA (which owns the hospital where Banago worked) of failing to provide PPE to its employees.
“Celia didn’t have to die if she had the proper PPE, so from now on, we nurses should be fighting for PPE so none of us have to die,” another co-worker said.