An intensive care unit nurse in Miami who was on the front lines battling the coronavirus died on Friday from the illness, CBS Miami reports.
Araceli Buendia Ilagan, who was 63 years old, had worked at Jackson Memorial Hospital for nearly 33 years, the hospital said. Buendia last worked at the hospital on Tuesday, when she reportedly began showing symptoms.
Her death was the third coronavirus-related fatality in Miami-Dade County.
“As we battle this global public health crisis, caregivers throughout the world are bravely serving on the frontlines, often putting their patients’ lives before theirs. These medical professionals — people like Araceli — are the true heroes, and we salute them all,” the Jackson Health System, which runs the hospital, said in a statement.
Those sentiments were echoed in statements from friends and family. In a tribute posted on Facebook, Buendia’s brother said she self-isolated for days after developing symptoms, but ended up “losing her battle.”
“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,” Roy Buendia wrote.
“Salute to you our heroine. Your sacrifices to save patients is most appreciated and very much valued. Your contributions on this battle is truly selfless and heroic. You stand your oath up to your last breath to serve,” said niece Raeyanna Buendia. “Even though you died alone and be, don’t worry we gonna pray your soul.”
Last week, aalso died of complication from the virus. Mount Sinai West emergency room nurse Kious Kelly, 48, died Tuesday after developing COVID-19.
The state of Florida has reported over 5,000 confirmed cases, including 63 deaths, according to the Florida Health Department. The United States has surpassed 150,000 confirmed cases, with more than 2,800 deaths.