Miami nurse dies of coronavirus after treating COVID-19 patients

A Miami nurse has died due to the coronavirus after she spent weeks working on the front lines to help patients stricken with COVID-19, marking the second health worker death in South Florida in a week. 

Intensive care unit nurse Araceli Buendia Ilagan, 63, passed away this week due to complications of the virus, Jackson Memorial Hospital confirmed Saturday.

‘Our Jackson Health System family is mourning the death of longtime Jackson nurse Araceli Buendia Ilagan, who recently died from complications of COVID-19,’ the hospital said in a statement. 

‘Araceli dedicated nearly 33 years of her life treating some of our most critically ill patients.’

Her death comes four days after the passing of Dr. Alex Hsu, 67, who worked at Northwest Medical Center in Margate, and died due to complications of COVID-19 on Tuesday.   

Nation wide there are over 123,000 cases of coronavirus and over 2,000 deaths. 

Medical experts warn the contagious COVID-19 will continue to spread as Dr Anthony Fauci, the government’s foremost infection disease expert, predicts the US could see between 100,000 to 200,000. 

Miami nurse Araceli Buendia Ilagan, 63, passed away this week due to complications of COVID-19, her hospital confirmed Saturday

Miami nurse Araceli Buendia Ilagan, 63, passed away this week due to complications of COVID-19, her hospital confirmed Saturday

Her death comes four days after the passing of Dr. Alex Hsu, 67, who worked at Northwest Medical Center in Margate, and died due to complications of COVID-19 on Tuesday.

Her death comes four days after the passing of Dr. Alex Hsu, 67, who worked at Northwest Medical Center in Margate, and died due to complications of COVID-19 on Tuesday.

Miami nurse Araceli Buendia Ilagan, 63, (left) passed away this week due to complications of COVID-19, her hospital confirmed Saturday. Her death comes four days after the passing of Dr. Alex Hsu, 67,  (right) who worked at Northwest Medical Center in Margate, and died due to complications of COVID-19 on Tuesday

Araceli Buendia Ilagan worked as a nurse in the ICU unit at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami (hospital above). She worked her last shift there on Tuesday then self isolated. It's not clear when she first fell ill or what patients or co-workers she could have passed the contagious disease to

Araceli Buendia Ilagan worked as a nurse in the ICU unit at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami (hospital above). She worked her last shift there on Tuesday then self isolated. It's not clear when she first fell ill or what patients or co-workers she could have passed the contagious disease to

Araceli Buendia Ilagan worked as a nurse in the ICU unit at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami (hospital above). She worked her last shift there on Tuesday then self isolated. It’s not clear when she first fell ill or what patients or co-workers she could have passed the contagious disease to

Her brother shared this Facebook post praising her as a 'true hero in the flight against COVID-19'

Her brother shared this Facebook post praising her as a 'true hero in the flight against COVID-19'

Her brother shared this Facebook post praising her as a ‘true hero in the flight against COVID-19’

He shared this photo on Facebook of Ilagan with the caption '#StayHome It could save lives'

He shared this photo on Facebook of Ilagan with the caption '#StayHome It could save lives'

He shared this photo on Facebook of Ilagan with the caption ‘#StayHome It could save lives’

Ilagan was an integral part of the hospital who mentored and trained other nurses and worked for Miami-Dade’s public hospital system since the 1980’s.

Ilagan worked her last shift at Jackson Memorial’s ICU on Tuesday.

However, it’s not clear when she became ill or how many patients and coworkers she may have had contact with, according to the Miami Herald.

She’s also the second Jackson Health nurse to test positive for the virus in March. 

Her death follows days after the death of New York City nurse Kious Kelly, 48, who passed away on Tuesday after his hospital Mount Sinai Hospital West suffered from a shortage of medical protective equipment. 

Their tragic deaths serve as a reminder of the dire risks health care workers face in working with coronavirus patients as hospitals report shortages of equipment and testing kits.

‘As we battle this global public health crisis, caregivers throughout the world are bravely serving on the front lines, often putting their patients’ lives before theirs. These medical professionals – people like Araceli – are the true heroes, and we salute them all,’ the hospital said in the statement. 

Her passing follows days after the death of New York City nurse Kious Kelly, 48, (above) who passed away on Tuesday after his hospital Mount Sinai Hospital West suffered from a shortage of medical protective equipment

Her passing follows days after the death of New York City nurse Kious Kelly, 48, (above) who passed away on Tuesday after his hospital Mount Sinai Hospital West suffered from a shortage of medical protective equipment

Her passing follows days after the death of New York City nurse Kious Kelly, 48, (above) who passed away on Tuesday after his hospital Mount Sinai Hospital West suffered from a shortage of medical protective equipment

A shocking photo posted to Facebook shows three nurses at Mount Sinai West wearing black garbage bags as makeshift protective gowns due to a shortage of protective equipment

A shocking photo posted to Facebook shows three nurses at Mount Sinai West wearing black garbage bags as makeshift protective gowns due to a shortage of protective equipment

A shocking photo posted to Facebook shows three nurses at Mount Sinai West wearing black garbage bags as makeshift protective gowns due to a shortage of protective equipment 

According to records, Ilagan lived in Pembroke Pines and became licensed as a registered nurse in Florida in 1982 and then an advanced practice registered nurse in 1991.  

Her brother shared a post on Facebook praising her as a ‘true hero in the fight against COVID-19’.

‘My sister Araceli Buendia Ilagan, a nurse in Miami, Florida since 1981 was a victim of this Covid-19. She was nursing those patients with the said virus in their hospital and unfortunately contracted and became unwell,’ he shared Saturday. 

‘She preferred to self-isolate for days however she lost her battle and sadly passed away early this morning. My dearest sister, we admired you for your dedication on your profession. We are very, very proud of you. You’re a true “Hero” in this fight against Covid-19. We love you so much and you will be in our hearts forever,’ he shared. 

A friend from Ilagan shared a tribute on Facebook writing, ‘Too close to home … and rest in paradise’.

As of Sunday there are over 123,000 cases of coronavirus in the US and over 2,000 deaths

As of Sunday there are over 123,000 cases of coronavirus in the US and over 2,000 deaths

As of Sunday there are over 123,000 cases of coronavirus in the US and over 2,000 deaths

This map shows major hotspots of COVID-19. Florida is one of them with over 4,000 cases and 56 deaths

This map shows major hotspots of COVID-19. Florida is one of them with over 4,000 cases and 56 deaths

This map shows major hotspots of COVID-19. Florida is one of them with over 4,000 cases and 56 deaths

As of Sunday morning there are over 4,200 cases of coronavirus in Florida state and there have been a total of 56 deaths. 

According to the labor union that represents the 5,000 doctors and nurses at Jackson Health, there is enough protective gear for nurses and doctors who care for patients. Those supplies are now kept under a lock and key as a precaution.

The union says the greatest challenge for doctors and nurses is the lack of testing that would allow medical workers to identify and isolate COVID-19 positive patients earlier on and with more efficiency. 

Link hienalouca.com

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