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Florida nurse, 33, found dead after being exposed to coronavirus; husband blames hospital

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A Florida nurse who was reportedly exposed to the coronavirus was found dead in her home after she showed increasing symptoms of the disease.

Danielle Dicenso, a 33-year-old traveling nurse, had begun feeling ill after working without a proper face mask at Palmetto General Hospital in Hialeah. The wife and mother had been self-isolating in her family’s living room where her husband found her after she had died.


(Source: WPLG)

“She showed up for work one day and they didn’t have a mask for her,” her husband, David Dicenso, told WPLG, adding that “she always puts people first before her.”

Dicenso was reportedly tested for COVID-19 last month after becoming concerned about being exposed to the virus following a shift at the Miami hospital. The test results were inconclusive though she experienced a cough and fever, and did not return back to work after her last shift two weeks ago.

“She was on a shift where she had COVID patients, and she didn’t have a mask. She was very scared of going to work,” her husband told WSVN.

Though she isolated herself and her symptoms worsened, she did not go to the hospital, her husband shared.

“It was a rough four or five-day struggle between that,” he told WTCJ. “Her fever spiked, it came on in waves.”

And then last week, he found she had already died when he checked on her in the family’s living room.

“Just by looking at her, I knew that she wasn’t her lively self,” he told WPLG. “She looked so peaceful. She looked like she just went in her sleep.”

The 33-year-old nurse reportedly did not have any known underlying conditions and, while the family believes her death was the result of COVID-19, they are awaiting test results from the medical examiner.

“It’s with a very heavy and broken heart trying to grasp this grim reality. My angel, my love, my wife and mother of my son has left us far too early … You put yourself on the front lines trying help others during these times. You’re a real hero!! You’re the best nurse anyone could ask for,” Dicenso wrote on Facebook.

“You’ve received so many letters from patients, their families, thanking you for caring and taking the extra mile to bring people to health … It’s devastating knowing a 4-year-old will go through life without you,” he added.

Dicenso is angry at the hospital’s lack of protective equipment which he believes was a factor that contributed to his wife’s death.

“I know for a fact that my wife would still be here right now if she was given the proper protective equipment,” he told WTCJ.

“I’m very upset,” he added. “My 4-year-old son’s not gonna have a mother.”

Nurses are being provided with “appropriate personal protective equipment in compliance with Centers for Disease Control guidelines,” Palmetto General Hospital spokeswoman Shelly Weiss told the Miami Herald in a statement.

“All employees at our hospital are temperature checked upon arrival, wear a mask during patient care and are required to notify employee health if they become symptomatic,” Weiss said. “They are not permitted to work in the hospital caring for patients if exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19.”

Earl Bailey, a traveling Broward nurse who last worked for Palmetto General Hospital and had tested positive for COVID-19, died last week after going into cardiac arrest in his home, according to the Sun-Sentinel.

Frieda Powers

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