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Covid-19: Guard of honour for healthcare assistant at Dublin hospital who died on Christmas Eve

Filipino native Mariter Tarugo worked in St Vincent’s Hospital.

Mariter Tarugo tested positive for the Covid-19 and had a stroke.
Mariter Tarugo tested positive for the Covid-19 and had a stroke.
Image: Go Fund Me

WARM TRIBUTES HAVE been paid to a 60-year-old healthcare assistant at St Vincent’s Hospital in Dublin who passed away from Covid-19 on Christmas Eve.

Filipino native Mariter Tarugo, who lived in Dalkey, worked on St Andrew’s Ward in the hospital.

She was admitted to her workplace as a patient a week ago and battled with the virus until her passing on 24 December. Her husband has also fought the virus.

Ms Tarugo is survived by her husband Nicolas, her daughter Nice and her grandchildren Axl Ezekiel and Arabella Faith, son in law Albert and her extended family, relatives and friends across the world.

Her funeral took place yesterday but government restrictions meant that only 10 people could attend. Her colleagues formed a socially distanced guard of honour outside the hospital mortuary. The funeral was also live streamed.

A Go Fund me page was set up to help the family of the late Ms Tarugo with funeral costs and other associated expenses.

Organiser Jemimah Bungabong said Ms Tarugo worked for almost twenty years in the healthcare sector in her adopted home of Dublin.

“A hardworking, kind-hearted, strong and selfless woman. She was also my mom’s best friend, rock and acted like a big sister to her. She has helped and touched many people in her life, including me. Taught me so many life lessons.

She tested positive for the Covid-19, eventually had a stroke and was in ICU for a few days. Her husband also tested positive and is still recovering. Her situation quickly got worse. Unfortunately, on Christmas Eve, she died and was surrounded by her loving family.

“It was all unexpected and we are all still shocked that she is gone. I decided to help her family. Her family need all the help they can get to cover expenses and help them back up in their feet. I know this is a difficult time for everyone but every little helps.”

The Philippine Consulate in Ireland has also shared condolences to Ms Tarugo’s family. 

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“We offer her daughter Nice, husband Nicolas, and grandchildren Axl and Arabella our thoughts and prayers during this dark time in their lives.

May care and love of those around them provide comfort and peace to get them through the days ahead. Remembering the wonderful and gentle soul of Mariter Tarugo will forever remain in our hearts. May she rest in peace. 

Some 6,000 Filipinos work as nurses in Irish hospitals. Raymond Garrett, the consulate’s honorary consul, said earlier this year that many ICU teams in Irish hospitals are made up of more than 50% of Filipino staff.

Meanwhile, the Support for Nurses, Midwives and Frontline Staff in Ireland Facebook page, which has over 100,000 followers, also posted a tribute to the late nurse.

“Mariter thank you so very much for helping so many through their illnesses. Thank you for so bravely helping so many who were hospitalised with Covid. Your work on this earth is done. God has called you home,” the post said. 

About the author:

Olivia Kelleher

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