I am writing to share sad news. One of our union siblings, a longtime MNA member who worked at Borgess Hospital in Kalamazoo, passed away on November 2nd due to complications from COVID-19. To the best of our knowledge, she is the first member of the Michigan Nurses Association who has died from the virus. MNA has reached out to her family to share that our thoughts and prayers are with them and to see how we can best offer our support.
Maribel Tabanguil-May worked at Borgess for nearly 40 years. I can personally speak to what an incredible RN she was and how deeply all of her colleagues are mourning her loss. She was a loving parent, dedicated MNA member, and skilled nurse who always advocated for her patients and co-workers.
Nurses at Borgess hospital are going to be planning a vigil to honor her memory in the coming days. At the start of the pandemic, MNA created a profile frame of a white ribbon in honor of nurses and healthcare professionals who have lost their lives on the frontlines. While the gesture feels impossibly small, I am going to update my image with this ribbon and invite you all to join me if you should so choose.
It is important that none of us become numb to the horrors we see around us every day. While all of our experiences of the pandemic are unique, none of us are in this alone. We have each other.
As we face a new surge of the pandemic, solidarity is more important now than ever before.
Jamie Brown, RN
Critical Care Nurse at Borgess Hospital and MNA President
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