HEARTFELT TRIBUTES have been to a sixty-year-old Dublin nurse who passed away from Covid-19 on Christmas Eve.
Born in the Philippines, Mariter Tarugo made a life for herself in Ireland as a Healthcare Assistant at St Vincent’s Hospital.
Described by friends as a “hardworking, kind-hearted, strong and selfless woman” Mariter was beloved by anyone who she encountered while working on the St Andrew’s Ward of the hospital.
One of the many, many unsung heroes of this pandemic, Mariter had been working on a Covid-19 ward when she tested positive for the virus earlier this month.
She was admitted to the hospital where she worked as a patient a week ago.
Despite suffering a stroke, she continued to fight on against the virus even as her situation worsened.
She died surrounded by loved ones.
Her family, including her husband Nicolas, who had also battled coronavirus, has been left stunned and bereft by her sudden passing.
She is survived by both her husband and daughter Nice as well as her grandchildren Axl Ezekiel and Arabella Faith and son in law Albert.
But Mariter touched the hearts and minds of so many more besides.
Though Government restrictions meant only 10 mourners could attend her funeral this past week, friends, colleagues and loved ones still found a way to pay tribute to her life and work.
A socially distanced guard of honour was held outside the hospital mortuary where her body was kept while the funeral service was live streamed for those eager to remember a woman beloved by so many for so many different reasons.
The Midwives Association of Ireland offered its condolences while the Support for Nurses, Midwives and Frontline Staff in Ireland Facebook page posted their own tribute online.
"Mariter thank you so very much for helping so many through their illnesses,” it said.
"Thank you for so bravely helping so many who were hospitalised with Covid. Your work on this earth is done. God has called you home. "
For Jemimah Bungabong, “Auntie Mariter” was so much more than simply her mum’s colleague at St Vincent’s - she was family.
“She was also my mom's best friend, rock and acted like a big sister to her,” Jemimah says.
“She has helped and touched many people in her life, including me. Taught me so many life lessons.”
Eager to show her appreciation for someone who did so much for her in her young life, Jemimah has set up a Go Fund Me page to help cover the funeral costs and expenses for Mariter’s family.
"It was all unexpected and we are all still shocked that she is gone. I decided to help her family,” she said.
"Her family need all the help they can get to cover expenses and help them back up in their feet.
"I know this is a difficult time for everyone but every little helps."
Donations to the find can be made here.