A Filipino American nurse passed away after fighting on the front lines against the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States.
Ali Dennis Guillermo died on April 8 in the Intensive Care Unit of the Long Island Community Hospital, where he had been working since coming to the U.S. in 2004, according to Views From The Edge.
The 44-year-old ICU nurse, who also helped in the emergency room of the hospital, fell ill in mid-March. His wife, Romielyn Guillermo, said her husband was hospitalized on March 25.
“As a nurse in the front lines – the ICU – we’ve always had that concern for him every time he went to work,” Guillermo’s 21-year-old daughter, Denise, told MSNBC.
“Its been very difficult (for the family). We weren’t able to go see him,” the eldest of Guillermo’s three children, who is an architecture student at the University of Buffalo, added. “He’s not allowed to have a proper burial because these patients have to be cremated when they pass away.”
“Everyone just needs someone like him,” Guillermo’s 18-year-old son, Ali, who is the valedictorian of his high school graduating class, said. “He’s a father, he’s a friend. He’s just the kind of person you want to look up to. He’s simply kind.”
Romielyn Guillermo said she worries about supporting her family since her husband was the breadwinner, ABC7 New York reported. He is survived by his three children Denise, Ali and 13-year-old son Aljon.
Guillermo’s colleague, Carmelo Espiritu, started a GoFundMe campaign to support his wife and children.
“His expertise as an ICU, stepdown, medical-surgical and emergency room RN was exceptional for he’d always be willing to help and assist the team whenever and wherever,” Espiritu wrote on the page. “He’d make the busiest work nights lighter with his jokes and songs.”
Guillermo is the fifth AAPI medical professional and the third Filipino American nurse to die from COVID-19.
NextShark has reached out to the Guillermo family.
Feature Image via GoFundMe