Nurse who sought greater access to personal protective equipment dies of coronavirus

The American nursing community received some tragic news on Monday, in the form a press release from the National Nurses United union stating that coronavirus had claimed the life of one of its members. 

Celia Yap Banago is said to have been just days from retirement when she passed away last week. According to the release, she had been fighting for better access to personal protective equipment as the pandemic continued to ravage the country, according to The Hill.

Banago reportedly spent some four decades caring for patients at the Research Medical Center in Kansas City, Missouri, which is where she is believed to have contracted COVID-19.

A candlelight vigil was held in her honor last week, according to CBS News.

“More than devastating”

“Celia was an amazing nurse that dedicated her service for countless years at Research and a dear friend to all of us,” fellow nurse Charlene Carter was quoted as telling NPR affiliate KCUR.

Carter then went on to compare the struggle in which medical staff are engaged against the disease to military combatants fighting in a war.

“I feel that I can speak for many nurses when I say that the loss of one of our dear fallen soldiers on the front line of this pandemic is more than devastating, it is a wake-up call,” she said.

“Nurses have an instinctive conduct of being so selfless that I believe others don’t realize,” Carter explained. “No nurse should have to sacrifice their life in exchange for conserved profits by the rationing of proper protective equipment.”

“Nurses all over the country need proper protection every day so that we can continue to save patients’ lives while sparing our own.” she insisted.

According to Newsweek, union executive and registered nurse Bonnie Castillo remarked on Banago’s passing as well, stating, “We honor the life and career of Celia who gave so much of herself for her patients.”

She added, “No nurse, no health care worker, should have to put their lives, their health, and their safety at risk for the failure of hospitals and our elected leaders to provide the protection they need to safely care for patients.”

According to John Hopkins University, the United States has seen more than 58,000 coronavirus deaths as of Tuesday afternoon.

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