Remembering a Filipino ER nurse in Queens who lost his life to COVID-19

NEW YORK — A siren salute for another Filipino hero who lost his life on the frontlines of the battle against coronavirus.

58-year-old Erwin Lambrento was an ER nurse at the epicenter of the U.S. pandemic, Elmhurst Hospital in New York City. He succumbed to COVID-19 at the Mount Sinai Hospital on Saturday.

Friends and coworkers joined dozens of other medical professionals who call themselves the ‘Hurst Crew’ bid their last goodbyes to the Filipino hero.

Lambrento was described as a “stalwart” on the night shift, and the king of triage.

He was respected by his peers for his steady work and dedication to his craft as an ER nurse.

Among the last few people to visit Lambrento while he was fighting for his life on a ventilator was his nephew, Ernesto Jon Ebuen.

“It pains me that he’s not able to see how much people loved him, respected him and appreciated him.”

Ebuen said it was his uncle’s generosity that paved the way for him to migrate to the U.S., and pursue his dreams of making it in the sport of table tennis.

“Every time I see a post about you it hurts me, but it always makes me proud that you are my tito. I was able to be in my position because you helped me and opened the doors for me.”

More than 21,000 people in New York have died from coronavirus.

In the Northeast coast alone, in the 10 states covered by the Philippine Consulate General in New York – among the 90 Filipinos who died of COVID-19, 30 were frontline workers.

Ebuen said his uncle described to him what it was like to be in the epicenter of the battle against COVID-19.

“He described it as a zoo, it’s like crazy never been seen, never been experienced, he even showed me what kind of gas mask he was wearing.”

Ebuen graduated with a degree in nursing in the Philippines, but he has yet to consider going back to the medical field.

“I would love to be of service and be able to help.”

His uncle Lambrento was a physician in the Philippines who became an ER nurse when he migrated to the U.S.

Ebuen promised to keep Lambrento’s legacy alive by paying it forward in life, by helping others without reservation just like his uncle did.

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