2 Palmetto General Hospital nurses die amid fight against COVID-19

HIALEAH, FLA. (WSVN) - Two nurses who worked at Palmetto General Hospital have died amid the battle against COVID-19.

According to the family of one of the nurses, their deaths were due to the hospital’s lack of necessary safety equipment to protect them and other medical staff members from the coronavirus.

“She was a great person, a great mother, and an awesome wife, and I miss her so much,” Daniel Dicensio said through sobs.

Dicensio is heartbroken and frustrated after his wife Danielle passed away Thursday due to complications he believes were caused by COVID-19. She was a nurse at Palmetto General Hospital.

“It’s really sad. I have a 4-year-old, and he doesn’t have a mommy anymore,” Dicensio said. “It makes me really angry.”

He said he feels angry over a lack of safety and health protocols at his wife’s job.

“She was on a shift where she had COVID patients, and she didn’t have a mask. She was very scared of going to work,” Dicensio said.

Danielle’s last shift was mid-March, and she didn’t go back, according to her husband, after coming down with a fever and other symptoms. She was tested for the virus, but the results were inconclusive.

The cough and the fever persisted until last week.

Her body couldn’t fight any longer.

“I had to find her in my living room like that, and obviously she looked like she died a peaceful death, but still it’s really messed up,” Dicensio said through sobs.

Danielle is not the first nurse who worked at the hospital to pass away. Earl Bailey died in early April after testing positive. He worked shifts at Palmetto General as well.

Bailey’s wife told 7News over the phone he had made similar complaints to her about not having a mask while at work.

Dicensio is hoping something changes sooner than later.

“It’s counter-productive to not give our nurses and doctors exactly what they need,” he said. “If a hospital is under-equipped, under-managed, under-budgeted, whatever the case may be, we should be rerouting people to different locations because it’s killing the people who are trying to save lives.”

Dicensio is still waiting on the official cause of Danielle’s death from the medical examiner in Palm Beach County.

Director of Public Relations for Tenet Healthcare Shelly Weiss Freidberg said in a statement, “All employees at our hospital are temperature checked upon arrival, wear a mask during patient care and are required to notify employee health if they become symptomatic.”

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