A Kansas City nurse with 40 years of experience died from coronavirus last week — just days before her planned retirement, according to National Nurses United (NNU). In a press release, the union says Celia Yap Banago died of COVID-19 after contracting it from a patient she was treating. Now, NNU and some of Banago’s coworkers are hoping her death raises awareness about the lack of personal protective equipment, or PPE, in hospitals.
Coworkers, family members and friends gathered for a vigil honoring Banago outside Research Medical Center (RMC) on Thursday night. Many others attended the vigil via video conference and NNU shared footage of the ceremony on social media Sunday. In a tweet, the union quoted a fellow nurse who said, “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.”