Coronavirus News: NYC nurses help family give emotional goodbye to their dying mother

STATEN ISLAND, New York (WABC) -- A nurse on Staten Island who cared for a woman dying from coronavirus made sure her patient was surrounded with love as she passed.

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.

MORE CORONAVIRUS COVID-19 COVERAGE


UPDATES

Grieving the lost: Tri-State residents who have died
New York state
New Jersey
Connecticut
Long Island



RESOURCES
Where are the testing centers
See how our communities are making a difference
Free educational resources for parents and children
How you can help victims of coronavirus

RELATED INFORMATION

Share your coronavirus story with Eyewitness News
Stimulus check scams and other coronavirus hoaxes
Coronavirus prevention: how clean are your hands?
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on coronavirus
Total count of NYC COVID-19 cases based on patient address

Copyright © 2020 WABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.