L.A. helper dies after treating a coronavirus patient


The preference that Celia Marcos made, a one that would eventually take years from her life, had been hard-wired after decades operative as a nurse.

On a sentinel that she oversaw during Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center, a male with COVID-19 had stopped breathing. Marcos’ face was lonesome usually with a skinny surgical mask, and receiving a some-more protecting N95 facade before entering his room would have squandered profitable time, her colleagues say.

The 61-year-old assign helper knew a chest compressions and other respirating treatments a studious indispensable would expected pour dangerous pathogen particles into a atmosphere that could land on her face and clothing. She would be during high risk of throwing a coronavirus.

Marcos raced into a room. Fourteen days later, she was dead.

Marcos died in a same sanatorium where she had worked for some-more than 16 years, one of during slightest 36 medical workers in California who have succumbed to COVID-19.

In one chronicle of her story, she is a unselfish caregiver who chose her patient’s life over her possess by rushing into his room though an N95. But staff during Hollywood Presbyterian contend a existence is many bleaker.

As assign nurse, Marcos was compulsory to respond to patients who stopped breathing, though she wasn’t supposing an N95 facade during a commencement of her shift, her coworkers say. The masks are scarce, and staff who do get them are mostly asked to reuse them over mixed days, they said.

“The sanatorium wasn’t giving us suitable PPE — a N95s were locked,” pronounced one nurse, who, like others, spoke on a condition of anonymity after expressing fear of plea from sanatorium administrators. “It’s usually too unpleasant for everybody, what happened to her.”

Though all front-line workers are exposed to a coronavirus, Marcos’ genocide illustrates a approach that risk has been amplified by a inhabitant necessity of personal protecting equipment. Such exposures have been cataloged during hospitals opposite California.

“I was a one right in front of his face,” Marcos wrote in a content to her niece reviewed by The Times. Concerned she had been infected, Marcos put palm sanitizer in her hair after withdrawal a patient’s room, and showered as shortly as she got home, she pronounced in a message.


Hollywood Presbyterian officials denied that Marcos treated COVID patients though correct protecting rigging and pronounced a sanatorium adheres to all internal and sovereign recommendations. “Despite these efforts, and a joining to following all guidelines, we still mislaid one of a possess to this terrible virus, and we feel this detriment unequivocally deeply,” administrators pronounced in a matter to The Times.

The nurses kinship SEIU 121RN filed a censure with a state Occupational Safety and Health Administration that called Marcos’ genocide “the outcome of unsound PPE supposing to staff.” The kinship also purported in a apart censure to a state health dialect that Marcos perceived poor diagnosis once she became a studious during a hospital.

Lying in her sanatorium bed, surrounded by colleagues who had turn her caretakers, one of a final things Marcos pronounced was: “I don’t wish to die.”


Marcos began operative during Hollywood Presbyterian in 2004, 3 years after immigrating to a U.S. with her family. Back home in a Philippines, she had lerned to be a nurse, her longtime dream, according to her sons.

At a Los Angeles hospital, she was famous for her honeyed inlet and ability to reanimate rifts and sojourn cool-headed, no matter a situation. Filipino colleagues called her “ate” — large sister in Tagalog.

“She’s a form of chairman who in an puncture we can unequivocally count on,” pronounced another colleague, who also asked for anonymity for fear of retaliation. “She’s a ease that we can demeanour to in sequence to get through.”

On a night of Apr 3, Marcos was asked to put those skills to use.

A male certified on her building with COVID-19 had been angry that he wanted to go home since he didn’t feel sick. Two hours later, he stopped breathing, Marcos wrote in a content to her niece Andrea Gian Lardizabal, who works as a helper in a Philippines.


Marcos worked on a sentinel that took coronavirus patients when a COVID units were full. Because her building wasn’t essentially for COVID patients, N95s weren’t frequently given to staff, and instead recorded for those treating COVID patients, staff say.

Sydnie Boylan, another assign nurse, primarily worked on Marcos’ building though disturbed about a miss of protecting gear. She switched to a COVID section “because that’s where a PPE is,” she said. “Even if we don’t have enough, we have some-more than everybody else.”

With usually a surgical mask, Marcos stayed in a patient’s room for during slightest 30 mins while he was resuscitated and eventually placed on a ventilator to assistance him breathe, before being changed to a ICU, her colleagues say. Marcos strapped an oxygen facade on a patient, who had “almost died,” she told her niece in a content message.

“Celia was called to a COVID-19 siege room while wearing usually a surgical facade — not a compulsory N95 respirator, gown, face shield, and booties that her sanatorium should have given her for her protection,” pronounced SEIU 121RN President Nina Wells pronounced in a matter to a Times. “Now we know she gave her life to try to save a life.”

Hospital officials brawl that Marcos, or any staff members, were under-equipped. They did not contend if Marcos wore an N95 facade that day, though pronounced that nurses responding to “code blues” are supposing with them. A sanatorium review dynamic Marcos did not have “unprotected bearing to COVID-19 during a hospital,” they said.

The inequality might be due to a new change in CDC discipline around a coronavirus. Early in a pandemic, a group endorsed that N95 masks were indispensable for treating all suspected COVID-19 patients, though amid a serious necessity of gear, switched to recommending a masks usually for high-risk procedures.

The manners have combined a gray area that allows hospitals to indoctrinate staff that in many cases, surgical masks are all that is indispensable to strengthen them from a coronavirus, nurses say.

“Imagine we get inside a room usually wearing those. Do we feel protected?” pronounced one COVID-19 helper during Hollywood Presbyterian, who combined that she had been regularly told she didn’t need an N95 for many studious visits. “I don’t trust a CDC anymore.”

Hospital staff pronounced they did not censure Hollywood Presbyterian, though noticed a trickery as a plant of inhabitant shortages. At St. John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, supervisors did not yield N95s to some nurses treating COVID-19 patients final month and a nurses refused to enter a rooms.

“I don’t consider my sanatorium is worse than anyone else’s hospital,” Boylan said. “I don’t know who threw out a order book when it comes to infection control.”

Marcos’ knowledge on Apr 3 seemed to clap her. In a content summary to Lardizabal, Marcos described a patient’s fast decrease and warned a younger lady to stay home and rinse her hands.

“No consternation a lot of covid patients get intubated and some die in usually a few days,” she wrote in a text. “Pls be additional careful.”


Marcos began feeling ill 3 days after she treated a male with COVID. She told her niece that she was doing steam transformation twice a day as a surety measure.

But on Apr 11, she told her oldest son, Donald Jay Marcos, that she had a headache and problem breathing. He urged her to see a doctor.

Before a pandemic, Marcos and her dual sons had designed a outing to a Philippines for final month. Marcos desired to transport to new places, though spent many of her assets visiting her family.


Donald, 41, didn’t hear from his mom again until Apr 15, when she answered his video call from her sanatorium bed. She told him she had grown pneumonia in both lungs.

Her worked respirating done it formidable for her to talk, Donald recalled. Through their screens, a dual watched any other cry.

Marcos had no health conditions other than high blood pressure, that she tranquil with medication. She was healthy, colourful and lived with her partner, who is also a nurse, her son said.

Celia Marcos

On Apr 17, Marcos’ heart stopped repeatedly, requiring staff to cure her mixed times. News of her fast decrease widespread by a hospital. A co-worker perceived a call that Marcos was crashing.

“I said, ‘Don’t ever contend that to me,’” and we was crying,” pronounced a nurse. “I was like, ‘Don’t ever contend that to me.’”

Some have suggested there were problems with Marcos’ caring and that some staff were frightened to yield her for fear of throwing a pathogen themselves.

In a censure filed final week with a state health department, member from SEIU 121RN pronounced that nurses who took caring of Marcos pronounced a alloy refused to yield required care, including intubation to assistance her breathe, “prior to her ultimate passing from COVID19,” according to papers reviewed by The Times.

Hospital administrators pronounced they could not criticism due to studious remoteness laws, though combined that their “goal is to yield glorious caring to all of a patients.” The alloy could not be reached for comment.

In a loss illumination Wednesday, staff filtered out of Hollywood Presbyterian in scrubs and masks to compensate reverence to Marcos during a burial outward a facility’s entrance. Despite amicable enmity recommendations, nurses packaged in to watch a ceremony, observant that inside a hospital, they are always tighten together.

At a commencement of a initial change though Marcos, on Apr 20, a administration collected a nurses on her building to contend a request for her. The gesticulate was a unpleasant sign of her absence, pronounced one nurse.

“It’s formidable to even fathom that Celia is gone,” a helper said. “I still consider of her as being on vacation. It is easier than carrying to remove someone.”

The genocide has done waves during a hospital. Another helper who treats COVID-19 patients pronounced staff members began perfectionist improved protections after Marcos’ death. Some have have refused to work though correct gear, she said.

Supervisors are providing some-more PPE and staffers are no longer reprimanded for bringing their from home, a helper said. She combined that they will continue to quarrel for some-more safeguards.

“I adore my job, though I’m not perplexing to die a hero,” she said.

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