Coronavirus Update New York City: Loved ones pay tribute to 1st NYC public hospital nurse to die from COVID

Coronavirus update for NYC
NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- Family and friends paid tribute to one of the first nurses in the U.S. to die from COVID-19 in the Bronx Sunday.

Freda Ocran was a wife and mother of three who worked at Jacobi Medical Center.

She passed away at the age of 51, one year ago Sunday.

Friends say Ocran was like a giant splash in a pond that sent ripples throughout everyone's lives at the hospital in Morris Park.

She was head nurse in the psychiatric unit, but in March 2020, as COVID-19 barreled into the Tri-State area, she refused to stay home.

On March 28th, her husband Joseph, got a call from doctors.

The call from Lincoln said, unfortunately your wife, Freda passed," Joseph Ocran said.

Ocran was the first nurse to die from COVID-19 in a New York City public hospital.

And now on the one-year anniversary of her passing, colleagues remembered how much of a champion she was.

"We should not be standing here today mourning a life, somebody who gave up herself, somebody who took care of patients just because of a lack of PPE," colleague Flandersia Jones said.

Joseph came to the U.S. from Ghana in 1988, saved money, and soon Freda joined him.

She received her degree in 1990, all while raising three kids who say she was relentless in a positive, life-affirming way.

"Like heroes, she had a catch phrase, 'don't you know I'm the queen.' Like heroes, she had a flaw, she cared too much," Ocran's son, Kwame K. Ocran, said.

Loved ones say she was the center of many worlds and a leader with a powerful army of supporters.

"She was everyone's mother, friend, protector and that's why we've gathered here today. This is her legacy," Ocran's son, Kwame A. Ocran, said.

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