Danielle DiCenso Florida traveling nurse working at Palemetto General Hospital dies of possible coronavirus infection as her husband blames her employer.
Danielle Hedrick DiCenso, 33, of Wellington, a traveling nurse stationed in the ICU unit at Palemetto General Hospital, in Hialeah, started showing COVID-19 symptoms two weeks after working long shifts with infected patients without the protective gear.
Her husband David DiCenso found her dead in her living room on Thursday after she placed herself in quarantine and her condition rapidly deteriorated.
The husband now says Danielle’s employer is complicit in her death after staff at the hospital didn’t give her the right equipment.
Danielle’s death according to David leaves their four-year-old son without a mother the Palm Beach Post reports.
Danielle DiCenso’s death is the latest healthcare worker to have died while working on the frontlines treating infected patients – with previous reports pointing to hospital shortage of vital equipment putting employees in harm’s way.
According to data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, between 10 percent and 20 percent of U.S. coronavirus cases are health care workers, though they tended to be hospitalized at lower rates than other patients.
An avoidable death?
‘She showed up for work one day and they didn’t have a mask for her.’ David DiCenso told via WPLG.
‘It really broke her heart that she couldn’t perform her job at a place she felt safe at,’ the husband added.
‘She had lots and lots of text messages between her and coworkers saying they were not properly equipped and (Palmetto officials were not) representing what was really going on at the hospitals.’
According to David, Danielle took a COVID-19 test on March 23 but it came back inconclusive and so she began self-isolating in her living room and didn’t return to the hospital.
She began showing symptoms on March 25 as the hospital continued to call her and see if she could come to work.
Her condition continued to worsen with a bad fever and a cough until David found his wife dead on Thursday morning.
Of note, Danielle had no pre-existing conditions.
‘It was a rough four- or five-day struggle between that,’ he said.
‘Her fever spiked, it came on in waves.’
‘Just by looking at her, I knew that she wasn’t her lively self,’
‘She looked so peaceful. She looked like she just went in her sleep.’
David said he is ‘very mad’ at the lack of personal protective equipment made available to her, claiming that she may still be here if she hadn’t been forced to work without a face mask.
‘I know for a fact that my wife would still be here right now if she was given the proper protective equipment,’ he said.
‘I’m very upset.
‘My 4-year-old son’s not gonna have a mother.’
On the front lines:
David adds that he is concerned other healthcare workers are not being provided adequate protection and continue to put their lives at risk.
‘The people on the front lines, these are our modern-day infantry,’ he said.
‘The nurses and doctors, they are the ones on the front lines and we’re not giving them ammunition … People who are supposed to be taking care of the people getting sick are the people that are dying now.’
According to Local 10 News, the medical examiner is set to test Danielle’s remains for COVID-19.
‘Her passing was sudden and very tragic due what we believed to be COVID-19,’ her sister Ashley Kuchciak wrote on a GoFundMe page established for funeral expenses.
‘Danielle was working as an ICU nurse on the front lines risking her life for the lives of others.’
If confirmed, she will become the first health care worker identified publicly and the youngest person to have died in Palm Beach County.
The news of her death comes after another nurse sometimes assigned to Palmetto General died on April 5.
Earl Bailey, 56, was also said to have been healthy and active but tested positive for coronavirus.
‘His breathing went bad,’ his daughter Sashia Bailey told the Sun Sentinel.
‘He died right after, before the ambulance could even be called.
‘My father was very strong and felt he could beat it,’ she added of the father of five.
‘He was very healthy, he worked out every day, even at Florida Medical Center, he would round up the nurses and go exercise.
‘He felt he was healthy and he wanted to save the space for somebody else.’
His fiancé has also contracted the virus and ‘is having a hard time breathing and catching her breath’.