The husband of a Filipino nurse who died from COVID-19 after being coughed on in South Wales, United Kingdom, paid tribute to her during a recent inquest into her death.
During the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, Medel, 41, was working the night shift and covering for a colleague at Anwen Care Home outside the town of Bridgend when she was coughed on by one of the patients she was caring for.
The Filipino nurse was reportedly looking after four patients at the time: two with COVID-19 symptoms and another two with suspected chest infections. The inquest heard that she was wearing her PPE (personal protective equipment) while tending to the COVID-19 patients but did not have proper protection while tending to the other two as it was reportedly not required.
It was also revealed that COVID-19 testing was not available in care homes at the time and that patients were typically diagnosed by general practitioners via phone calls.
Medel reportedly told paramedics that one of the residents coughed in her face while she was not wearing her PPE. The inquest also learned that the patient later tested positive for COVID-19 and died.
Falling ill: Mendel, who was born in Santiago, Philippines, experienced COVID-19 symptoms on March 23, 2020. After her condition deteriorated in late March, she was hospitalized with a high fever at the Princess of Wales Hospital in Bridgend, where she was immediately put on a ventilator. She succumbed to the disease on April 9, 2020.
A 2021 statement from Medel’s husband, Johnny Medel, was read during the inquest, detailing a concern his wife had about infecting their daughter — who was born prematurely with chronic lung disease and a global developmental delay — with COVID-19.
Paying tribute: Johnny Medel also paid tribute to his late wife during the inquest and said she loved her job.
“When she gave care to someone, it would be sincere,” he said. “She worked mainly with the elderly and I could see how much she enjoyed her job. I was so proud of her and what she had achieved.”