Filipino American Nurse Known as ‘Disneyland Panda’ Dies of COVID-19

Disneyland Panda

A Filipino American nurse, who has gained a following on Instagram as the “Disneyland Panda,” has succumbed to COVID-19.  

Joshua Obra, 29, died on July 6 following a 26-day battle with the disease, a family member confirmed in an emotional Instagram post on Friday.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

thank you to everyone who has prayed for josh during his battle against covid-19. he fought hard those 26 days from when his symptoms started, but now he is with God. i can’t believe i’m writing this at all and i know one post isn’t going to summarize a lifetime of memories. it brings me comfort that he touched so many lives out there, whether it was through nursing or throughout his whole life. i also wanted to say thank you from the bottom of my heart to everyone who was a part of his life in any way. josh is the reason for why i’m walking on this earth today. when he was around 7 years old, he went to my parents and asked who was going to be with him when they were to pass away because he didn’t want to be alone.. then i was born to be along side his journey. i know i was the person he was most close to here. we were never apart. i also know i was too hard on him sometimes, but i hope he knew it was out of love. he’s so kind and selfless, wanting to make everyone happy.. even when he knows he made me mad or if he knows i’m going through something, he would always try to comfort me. he didn’t want to do any wrong. he always included me and i never felt left behind at all, even growing up. i’m so thankful for him dealing with me all these years the way that a big brother does. i’m so blessed that he was able to teach me some parts of how to be a nurse while we were able to work together before we both got sick.. i’m happy he was able to share his love for disney, visit all of the disney parks, and travel some of the world. i’m so happy he was able to follow his passion in photography. i’m so blessed we were able to be so close through all these things, so blessed to be his little sister. i’m going to miss laughing til we both cry and can’t breathe. i’m going to miss his silly little dances. i’m going to miss forcing him to wake up early so we could make ropedrops at disneyland then him falling asleep on the way there. i’m going to miss yelling at him for always making us run late. i’m going to miss our disney adventures together. i’m going to miss our never ending food adventures. i’m just going to miss him always being there. [continue in comments]

A post shared by @ jasmineobra on

“Thank you to everyone who has prayed for josh during his battle against covid-19. he fought hard those 26 days from when his symptoms started, but now he is with God,” his younger sister Jasmine wrote. “I know I was the person he was most close to here. we were never apart. I also know I was too hard on him sometimes, but I hope he knew it was out of love. he’s so kind and selfless, wanting to make everyone happy.”

A fan of Disneyland theme parks, Obra was known for his popular Disneyland account @disneylandpanda where his over 25,000 followers can delight in the photos of parks that he visited. On his account biography, the self-proclaimed “Pandalorian” listed seven Disney related adventures he’s been to, including Hong Kong Disneyland, Shanghai Disney Resort and Disney Cruise Line.

Jasmine, who is now waiting on her own test results, wrote in a subsequent Instagram Story post that she is thankful that she was able to work with her brother before he got infected. 

“I’m so blessed that he was able to teach me some parts of how to be a nurse while we were able to work together before we both got sick,” she wrote. “I’m happy he was able to share his love for Disney, visit all of the Disney parks, and travel some of the world. I’m so happy he was able to follow his passion in photography. I’m so blessed we were able to be so close through all these things, so blessed to be his little sister.”

 

View this post on Instagram

 

💔It is with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of one of our favorite Eyewitnesses, @disneylandpanda, Joshua Obra. He passed away Monday from complications due to COVID-19. Josh was a sweet and kind man, and a talented photographer. You can tell from his Instagram handle that he was a huge Disney fan, and he participated in many Disney and ABC7 events and initiatives over the years. He was someone you could depend on, and was always very generous with his time and talent. The caption below is from his Eyewitness feature back in September of 2018. “We like to give shout-outs to our most dedicated Eyewitnesses! @disneylandpanda was born and raised in SoCal. He’s a registered nurse who currently lives in Gardena. His family has been going to Disneyland since he was a kid, and now, he and his sister are annual passholders. They love to travel, and are currently attempting to visit all the Disney parks around the world! The weekend shutterbug says he’s inspired by his fellow photographers, and lives by this motto: the shots you take today are the memories of tomorrow.” We send our love and condolences to his sister @jasmineobra and all of his friends and family. We will miss #ourpandaforever.

A post shared by ABC7 Community (@abc7community) on

Joshua was recently given a touching tribute by a local news station that previously featured him and his theme park fascination. 

“It is with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of one of our favorite Eyewitnesses,” ABC7 wrote in a caption on Instagram. “He passed away Monday from complications due to COVID-19.”

“Josh was a sweet and kind man, and a talented photographer. You can tell from his Instagram handle that he was a huge Disney fan, and he participated in many Disney and ABC7 events and initiatives over the years. He was someone you could depend on, and was always very generous with his time and talent,” added the station.

Born and raised in Southern California, Joshua reportedly got his love of Disney from his family who took him regularly in his youth.

“His family has been going to Disneyland since he was a kid, and now, he and his sister are annual passholders. The weekend shutterbug says he’s inspired by his fellow photographers, and lives by this motto: the shots you take today are the memories of tomorrow.”

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Josh 📸 (@disneylandpanda) on

Feature Image via disneylandpanda

Support our Journalism with a Contribution

Many people might not know this, but despite our large and loyal following which we are immensely grateful for, NextShark is still a small bootstrapped startup that runs on no outside funding or loans.

Everything you see today is built on the backs of warriors who have sacrificed opportunities to help give Asians all over the world a bigger voice.

However, we still face many trials and tribulations in our industry, from figuring out the most sustainable business model for independent media companies to facing the current COVID-19 pandemic decimating advertising revenues across the board.

We hope you consider making a contribution so we can continue to provide you with quality content that informs, educates and inspires the Asian community. Even a $1 contribution goes a long way. Thank you for everyone’s support. We love you all and can’t appreciate you guys enough.

NextShark is a leading source covering Asian American News and Asian News including business, culture, entertainment, politics, tech and lifestyle.

For advertising and inquiries: info@nextshark.com