Christine Mandegarian couldn’t stay home as she was a Healthcare worker. (GoFundMe image)


Second Filipino healthcare worker to die of Covid-19

Teodoro ‘Ted’ Alcuitas

Editor, Philippine Canadian

She posted this on her Facebook page on March 19, 2020.

Less than a month later on April 15, Christine Bacalocos Mandegarian died of Covid-19. She was in her 50s.

She died at the Scarborough General Hospital.

The mother of two has been working at Altamont Care Community for 31 years. She was a native of Barotac,Nuevo in Iloilo.

16 residents of the home who tested positive for COVID-19 have died. Another 63 residents have COVID-19 in addition to 21 staff. One staff member is in hospital.  A staggering 70 per cent of the 101-bed long-term care and retirement home had tested positive for the disease, says a Globe & Mail report.

Her husband, Parvez Mandegarian told CBC News he never got to give his wife of 34 years a proper goodbye.

“My wife died all by herself in a cold room. She died all by herself, all alone, with kids not next to her, husband not next to her, nobody next to her,” Mandegarian said.

In a phone interview with CBC News on Friday, Mandegarian was still struggling with the sheer speed with which the virus overtook the mother of two from Markham. He said the couple’s daughter drove her to hospital on Monday because she was having some difficulty breathing.

“By Wednesday she was dead,” he said.

“It happened so fast.… I can’t really digest anything right now. I can’t even imagine that she’s gone.”

The Ontario government is facing calls to take over operations at two of the hardest hit long-term care homes in the province, where at least 54 residents have died and 149 people have been sickened by COVID-19.

The situation at the two homes – Eatonville Care Centre in Toronto and Anson Place Care Centre in Hagersville – is out of control, said Sharleen Stewart, president of the Services Employees International Union Healthcare (SEIU Healthcare), which represents 25,000 workers.

“It’s like sending people into war and they can’t see where the bullets are coming from,” she told The Globe & Mail. “It’s totally mismanaged and reckless.”

Responsive Group, a company affiliated with Rykka, said in an e-mailed statement to The Globe that the three homes have been working closely with local public health units, “to ensure we are doing everything we can to protect our residents and our staff.” Spokeswoman Nicola Major said all staff and residents at Anson Place have been tested for COVID-19, and the company is working with public health to test everyone at Eatonville and Hawthorne Place. The statement did not reference any specific allegations.

According to a CTV News report about half of the cases are caregivers who are asymptomatic.

The rest are residents.

The Mandegarian family from her profile page on Facebook.

A GoFundMe campaign has been initiated by a cousin, Michelle Corpuz Enero. Enero told Philippine Canadian News.Com in an email that the fund is to raise money to purchase PPE’s for healthcare workers.

“We have started a GOFUNDME page to raise money to buy PPE for LTC facilities in the GTA. Our cousin had minimal/no protection during this outbreak.  We need to bring awareness to this horrible situation, and purchase PPE for the Long Term Care facilities in the Greater Toronto Area,” she said.

To donate to the fund, here is the link:

This is the GoFundMe information.

“She was a dedicated mother to Janelyne and Paul, wife to our uncle Paul(Parviz),  daughter, cousin, niece, grand-daughter, friend, and colleague at Altamont Nursing Home in Scarborough. She loved to cook, garden, travel, play with her grand-doggies, and live life. She always had a smile that radiated the whole room. We  truly miss her and the world will never be the same without her.

As her family, we are asking for donations in any amount to help fund the purchase of PPE (masks, gloves, gowns, etc) for Altamont Nursing Home. We will also be donating excess to surrounding LTC (Long Term Care) Homes as they have no supplies to protect their staff and patients.

We are all in this together.

#wemissyouateinday #weloveyou #wewillfightforyou #forchristine #ppeforhealthcareworkers

This is a message from her daughter:

“It is my greatest regret to share my mom past (sic) away on April 15th from COVID.

My mom was a frontline worker at Altamont Nursing home for 31 years. She’d died doing what she loved and loved to help people.

She was kind, funny and a giving person. She was selfless and absolutely fantastic dog grandma. It has been the most difficult time for our family because we can’t be together, comfort or console each other physically. You don’t realize how much a hug means when you can’t get it.

I want people to be aware this virus can kill. PPE is needed and action should be taking place BEFORE a life is lost. My mom’s last post on her Facebook was “I am a healthcare workers and I can’t stay home”. She was dedicated to her colleagues and patients and had felt a strong duty to be there for them during this pandemic. I know and understand that feeling as well as a front liner. You don’t know how much it hurts to lose someone to this till it happens to you. Being on the other side is eye opening and painful. I don’t wish this on anyone… Please share this. I don’t want my mom’s death to be in vain. We don’t want another family to go through this.”

PPE for Healthcare Workers. It isn’t too late but it’s happening and it needs to stop.


Updated:Coronavirus Chronicles 6: Virus claims 47-year old father