CALGARY, Alberta — Joe “Jing” Corral, a Filipino Canadian aide at Bethany Riverview long-term care home, died from Covid-19 on Dec. 28. It is the first health-care worker death from coronavirus in the province.
Friends remember Corral as a dedicated care provider to the residents with dementia at the facility, not asking for a break from work or stopping out of fear of the spreading virus, reports the Calgary Herald.
“Even since we had Covid-19 in our unit, he never stopped working. He committed his life to take care of the residents until he was Covid positive. He gave more than 100 per cent of his commitment to the residents,” his friend Ephraim Tiangha told the Herald.
“Even during COVID-19 outbreak, they need his care and he did not give up on them. And that is why he is a hero.”
Corral was born in the Philippines and finished nursing there before moving to Canada. He and Tiangha lived in a two-storey house together with Tiangha’s family in Calgary. Tiangha said Corral was extremely careful about not bringing Covid-19 home “because my wife is immuno-compromised.”
Fiesta Filipino, a non-profit that puts together the biggest cultural festival of the Filipino Canadian community in Alberta, praised Corral as “a very nice man,” calling him “Kuya Joe, our hero” in a Facebook post.
Corral is survived by a daughter living in Vancouver and a son in Edmonton. A GoFundMe appeal has been started to help his family.
Health Minister Tyler Shandro, in a statement, extended his condolences to Corral’s friends, family and colleagues.
“The dedication and remarkable commitment I’ve witnessed from health-care workers throughout the pandemic has never wavered — you have stepped up for this province in a time of need,” said Shandro.
Bethany Riverview said in a statement, “Our teams are working to coordinate supports for those affected by this loss,” said Bethany Riverview.
Alberta Health said there have been 69 cases linked to the outbreak at Bethany Riverview. Of those cases among staff and residents, 24 are active, 36 have recovered and nine have died.
Alberta Union of Provincial Employees (AUPE) vice-president Bobby-Joe Borodey said the loss of Corral is a tragedy.
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