New Orleans East Hospital mourns loss of nurse who died after contracting COVID-19
NEW ORLEANS — One of New Orleans brave healthcare workers has succumbed to complications associated with COVID-19.
WWL-TV reports that 46-year-old Larrice Anderson, a nurse at New Orleans East Hospital and a mother of two, is the first local healthcare worker to die due to complications of novel coronavirus.
Anderson’s older sister, Patrice Blaire-Margin told reporters how devastating it was to hear news of her sister's death over the phone, “To get that call and to hear my niece's voice deliver that bad news to all of our siblings. It’s a very difficult thing.”
Margin says when her sister told her she wasn’t feeling well over the phone, she didn’t know it would be the last time she’d hear her voice.
“I told her to get a little bit of rest, later that evening I got a message saying she was being admitted into the hospital,” Margin said.
In an interview with The Times Picayune | The New Orleans Advocate, Dorothy Lewis, one of Anderson's co-workers, described her as a caring nurse who frequently put the needs of her patients above all else.
Her sister, Margin, echoed these sentiments, saying, “She was very dedicated to caring for her patients and people that were ill, so it was no question she would continue to work."
Anderson's fellow healthcare worker, Lewis, went on to tell reporters Anderson became sick in early March, but only had stomach problems she thought were connected to food poisoning.
She was later diagnosed with viral pneumonia and admitted to the very hospital where she helped so many patients. She was then transferred to UMC where she needed additional ventilation, Lewis said.
“We were all in shock and we just can’t believe that our baby sister is gone,” Margin said.
Due to social distancing restrictions, Anderson was buried days later with only ten people able to attend her burial, including her 24-year-old daughter and 16-year-old son.
“They have a very strong bond, her and her kids. We have to be there for them and support them and lift them up,” Margin said.
New Orleans East Hospital held a memorial and balloon tribute to Anderson and the family says they plan to hold a memorial celebration once the pandemic is under control.
The New Orleans East Hospital established a memorial fund for Anderson’s family.
Donations can be made via the New Orleans East Hospital website.