THE FRIENDS of a Dublin healthcare worker who died from Covid-19 on Christmas Eve have raised more than €20,000 for her grieving family.
Philippines-born Healthcare Assistant Mariter Tarugo was a beloved fixture at St Vincent’s Hospital in Dublin, having spent the past two decades in the sector.
She was working on a Covid-19 ward at the hospital when she first tested positive for the virus.
Within a week, Mariter was admitted as a patient.
She went on to suffer a stroke before eventually passing away on Christmas Eve surrounded by her immediate family.
Her husband, Nicolas, also contracted the virus but is now on the road to recovery.
Mariter left an indelible mark on the lives of all she encountered through her work and life.
To Jemimah Bungabong, she wasn’t just one of her mum’s colleagues and friends, she was "Aunt Mariter” a “hardworking, kind-hearted, strong and selfless woman".
The Dublin nurse received a guard of honour from fellow staff when her body was taken from the hospital to be buried while her funeral was livestreamed online because of the number of people wishing to pay their respects.
But Jemimah was determined to go one step further for Mariter’s husband Nicolas as well as her daughter Nice and grandchildren Axl Ezekiel and Arabella Faith.
On her 24th birthday, Jemimah set up an online fundraising page to help cover the costs incurred from Mariter’s funeral and burial.
It was the least she felt she could do for someone who was a friend to so many and someone who felt like family to her.
“She has helped and touched many people in her life, including me,” she wrote on the GoFundMe page. “Taught me so many life lessons.”
Incredibly, €20,810 has now been raised by friends, family, acquaintances, co-workers and strangers simply in awe of the kindness and sacrifice that made Mariter so special.
The incredible generosity of those behind the donations has not been lost on Jemimah, who described the total as a “huge achievement”.
"To all of you, a big thank you,” she wrote in a new update responding to the total.
“Words cannot express the gratitude the Tarugo family is feeling.”
She ended her message with a word of caution, calling on the public to ensure they followed the government guidelines on wearing masks and maintaining social distancing, keeping Mariter in mind as they did so.
“Please keep safe, follow the guidelines and adhere to social distancing rules. Let us hope the effort and sacrifices of our frontline workers like Auntie Mariter will not go in vain.”
Anyone wishing to donate to the fund can do so here.