A&E nurse dies of coronavirus after 40 days in ICU

A frontline A&E nurse has died of coronavirus months after her family and colleagues were delighted to see her discharged from an ICU department after 40 days of high dependence treatment.

STAFF at Hospital del Bierzo in Ponferrada have sent heartfelt messages following the death of Belén Mato, 49, who they say “got infected working on the frontline of the Emergency Department.”

She was discharged from ICU in May, but sadly passed away today, Tuesday, September 8.

The College Nursing Organisation posted a message of condolence to the nurse’s family and friends.

They wrote: “The representatives of the Spanish nursing organisation want to express their deep pain after the loss. The nursing body wishes to convey its deepest condolences to her family and friends on the death of an exemplary professional, loved and respected by both her colleagues and her patients. Rest in peace.

“Today our colleague Belén has just passed away, what a few weeks ago we celebrated, today we mourn.”

The emotional words continued: “We do not know what consequences Covid-19 will leave but our partner has today left us forever.”

President of the General Nursing Council, Florentino Pérez Raya, added: “Belén was the constant example of a committed and dedicated professional.

“Her good work in the exercise of her profession brought her the affection of her colleagues and patients.”

Raya went on to express his concern at the “high rate of infected nurses.”

Health professionals account for more than 20 per cent of the total people affected, he said, and “with the loss of Belén Mato, there are already six nurses who have died due to Covid-19.”

In recent months the profession has mourned the death of nurses: Encarni Vicente in Vizcaya; Pedro Carrillo, in Jaen; Esteban Peñarrubia, in Madrid; José Montero in Ciudad Real and Nanda Casado in Cordoba.

The loss of Belén Mato has left enormous pain for the entire Leon nurse family, and social networks have been filled with numerous messages of pain and condolence from her colleagues and other health professionals, reported Diario Enfermo.

There will be a prayer service in her memory at San Antonio Church, in Ponferrada, at noon tomorrow, Wednesday, September 9.

Her funeral will take place at noon in the same parish the following day.

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Tara Rippin

Tara Rippin is a reporter for Spain’s largest English-speaking newspaper, Euro Weekly News, and is responsible for the Costa Blanca region.
She has been in journalism for more than 20 years, having worked for local newspapers in the Midlands, UK, before relocating to Spain in 1990.
Since arriving, the mother-of-one has made her home on the Costa Blanca, while spending 18 months at the EWN head office in Fuengirola on the Costa del Sol.
She loves being part of a community that has a wonderful expat and Spanish mix, and strives to bring the latest and most relevant news to EWN’s loyal and valued readers.

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