KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The family of a Research Medical Center nurse who died from the coronavirus filed a claim for death benefits Monday under Missouri’s workers’ compensation laws.
Celia Yap-Banago died April 21 after caring for a patient with COVID-19 at the Kansas City hospital. She was 69 years old.
Her family, attorneys and the National United Nurses Union contend she died because she and other nurses at the hospital didn’t have adequate personal protective equipment while caring for patients with the coronavirus.
Attorneys Brent and Kristie Welder said in a news release that Yap-Banago and another nurse cared for a patient with coronavirus on March 22-23.
Both nurses asked their supervisors for PPE for everyone who came in contact with the patient, but the equipment wasn’t provided, the attorneys said.
“Health care workers like her are sacrificing their lives, and Celia’s family wants to ensure that our nation honors its responsibility to them and their families,” Welder said.
After the patient died, Yap-Banago quarantined at her home but died after fighting the virus for a month.
The other nurse who treated the patient also developed COVID-19 but recovered, the attorneys said.
The claim was filed on behalf of Yap-Banago’s husband and two sons. She who worked at Research for 40 years and had been planning to retire in April.
“If my mother’s death can result in more protection for all nurses everywhere, that will be very meaningful to our family,” her son Jhulan Banago said in the statement.
HCA Midwest, which operates Research Medical, has denied that its nurses did not have adequate PPE and said they have followed CDC guidelines.
Research Medical Center released the following statement to FOX4:
“We are heartbroken by the passing of Celia Yap-Banago, a 40 year veteran nurse. It is difficult to put into words what Celia meant to our hospital and to the countless number of patients she cared for. Her impact on the nursing profession and to those whom she worked with will be everlasting due to the mentorship, training, support and guidance she provided our colleagues. We offer our deepest sympathies to her family and friends, and all who she blessed along the way. We look forward to a swift resolution, working within the State of Missouri’s workers’ compensation system.”