Carole Ocera, who died from COVID-19 on April 13, was an 80-year-old patient in the ICU at Staten Island University Hospital.
Like so many family members who can't be with their loved ones in the hospital, Carole's daughter-in-law, Dorothy Ocera and her husband Charlie, who live in Florida, could not be with her as she began to slip away.
So Dorothy Ocera called her mother-in-law's nurse, Alexa Zuffante, and asked if she could hold Carole's hand for her.
Dorothy Ocera says her mother was tough yet affectionate, a grandmother who was terrified when she first got sick.
She says her mother's biggest fear was being alone and that she wanted her to know that someone was there for her.
Nurse Elda Maldonado arranged for the family to FaceTime with their mother, and during that final call, Zuffante played Carole Ocera's favorite music -- Elvis.
Equipped with a purple glove, Zuffante held Carole Ocera's hand as she passed with her family blowing kisses to her over the phone.
The nurse says it was a blessing in disguise and believes that she was meant to be there.
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