A candlelight vigil was held outside a hospital in Hollywood to honor a nurse who died two days after testing positive for the coronavirus.
HOLLYWOOD, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- A candlelight vigil was held outside a hospital in Hollywood Wednesday evening to honor a nurse who died two days after testing positive for the novel coronavirus.
Celia Marcos was honored outside Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center, where she worked as a nurse for 16 years. Tragically, it's also where she died.
Marcos, a victim of COVID-19, died two days after testing positive.
"Can't believe it," said May Lelavith, a nurse at the hospital where Marcos worked at.
"Losing one of our best nurses is hard, especially this way," another nurse said.
Marcos, a charge nurse, was the first to respond to emergencies in her unit.
The nurses union says on April 3, she responded to a patient suspected of having COVID-19. She was wearing only a surgical mask. Three days later she started having breathing problems.
A worker read the words of one of Marcos' children, John, as he stood nearby during the vigil.
"She was always the one to offer help," the note said. "Others' happiness was always her priority. We all felt it."
"It is impossible for mere words to express the deep sadness we feel, to adequately underscore Celia's courage and contribution," the hospital said in a statement.
The nurses union is calling for more personal protective equipment for workers.
"If you don't have the proper protection on all of the floors, it's like having no protection," said Sydnie Boylan, Vice President of SEIU Local 121RN said.
The hospital says it recognizes the sacrifice of its front line healthcare workers, saying "they are true champions, and we are committed to doing everything that we can to protect them."
The hospital added it ensures direct patient care teams have appropriate PPE.
Friends say Celia's partner is also a registered nurse. He also tested positive for COVID-19. He was treated at Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center and is expected to be OK physically.
Celia would have turned 62 in less than two weeks.