Nurse, 29, dies from COVID-19, away from family in Isabela
A nurse from Isabela who chose to stay in Metro Manila and care for patients succumbed to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) on May 6.
Elvies Duque, 29, was a nurse for 7 years and was employed at a home health care service in Taguig.
“It was his dream job and he loved it,” Elvies’s younger brother Mark, a city hall employee at Cauayan City, told INQUIRER.net.
He and his family wanted Elvies to go home prior to the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine, but he refused.
“‘Kung uuwi ako, sinong matitira para sa mga pasyente?’” was his response. (If I go home, who will stay for the patients?)
“He knew that this virus is really dangerous and that he might get infected but he didn’t back out, he still attended to COVID-19 patients,” Mark said. “He was a hero. He is a hero.”
The frontliner was also remembered for the warmth he showed his patients.
“He’s the most generous and kind person I knew. He loved everybody equally,” said Mark. “Many of his patients [wouldn’t] eat if [he won’t] prepare the food. He [considered] his patients like they’re his family.”
“He always posted videos and pictures of them going out together and hugging each other. His patients’ family members also treated him as their own,” Mark recalled. “Maybe they thought that Kuya was really [someone] heaven-sent who would take care of their love ones.”
‘He didn’t want us to know’
As he was treated at a hospital in Taguig, Elvies kept his condition a secret from his family even after he learned of his positive test results on April 26.
“He didn’t want us to know about this because we might get too worried,” his brother explained.
However, as he deteriorated, a doctor reached out to the family on May 2, days before Elvies’s death.
“He was already at the ICU when we were informed. But we knew na meron nang nangyayari (something was happening) when he wasn’t answering our messages and calls,” Mark said. “It only showed na humina siya (he became weak) because of the virus.”
At the very least, Elvies and his family were able to say goodbye through phone for one last time.
“We were there for him until he passed away last Wednesday,” Mark said. Not being able to see him before he died was the “hardest part of it, especially for my parents.”
His remains have already been cremated, but the family has to wait before it can be transported to their province.
On what he would want to tell his brother, Mark said, “It’s hard to accept what happened. I don’t know until when would this pain end. We will miss your kisses, your hugs, and the way you take care of us when we are sick.”
“You gave your all just to be true [to] your duty to protect lives. You sacrificed your life and we will forever be proud that you left this world as a hero.” JB
The Inquirer Foundation supports our healthcare frontliners and is still accepting cash donations to be deposited at Banco de Oro (BDO) current account #007960018860 or donate through PayMaya using this link .
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.