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Canada COVID-19: Fundraising campaign started for Richmond father who died at home

01:07  09 april  2020
01:07  09 april  2020 Source:   vancouversun.com

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a person smiling for the camera: Warlito Valdez in an undated handout photo. Warlito Valdez in an undated handout photo.

Co-workers of a Richmond man who died at home of COVID-19 have started a fundraising campaign for the family he left behind.

Warlito Valdez, 47, died in the den of his Richmond townhouse over the weekend, 11 days into a 14-day quarantine after testing positive for COVID-19 on March 23.

Valdez, wife of Flozier Tabangin and father to their four-year-old daughter Charlotte, worked as a residential support worker at a home for people with intellectual and physical disabilities that is run by the Richmond Society for Community Living.

RSCL acting executive director Shannon Crofton said: “We were shocked and devastated to receive news on the weekend of the passing of our staff member. We became aware that he tested positive to COVID-19 following exposure through the incredibly important work he was doing. We have provided daily contact with any staff who become ill or received a positive test to offer support for items such as grocery delivery.

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“Warlito’s colleagues have started a GoFundMe campaign to provide financial assistance to Warlito’s wife (so) she can focus her time and energy on grieving and caring for her daughter. To contribute visit the GoFundMe page.”

Donations can be made here: gf.me/u/xv37gy

By 12:15 p.m. Wednesday, $5,155 had been raised.

Crofton would not say how many residents or staff at the society have tested positive for COVID-19 but said it was considered “a small cluster” of cases. She said all staff are following pandemic control policies set out by health authorities.

“Like in healthcare, practicing social distancing while providing front line support is challenging and we continue to follow all recommendations of the Health Authority, and our funders. We grieve the loss of a friend and colleague. RSCL has reached out to Warlito’s family to arrange for any support that we may offer during this difficult time, and we offer our deepest condolence to his family.”

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Christie Totten, a manager at RSCL who worked with Valdez, said she was struck by his dedication to his family. She said he worked tirelessly to provide for them. Valdez trained as a nurse in his home country of the Philippines before moving to Canada three years ago.

“His greatest fear after being diagnosed with COVID-19 was spreading the illness to his wife or daughter. He brought a high level of professionalism and dedication to his work.”

She said his commitment to his family motivated her to set up the fundraiser.

“He would want to know that his wife and daughter are being thought of and being taken care of by the community at large. It is during these difficult and unprecedented times that having community support is crucial.”

More to come.

Related

Toronto long-term care home says 25 residents have died of COVID-19 .
A long-term care home in Toronto's west end says 25 of its residents have died due to COVID-19. Eatonville Care Centre, located on The East Mall near Burnamthorpe Road in Etobicoke, confirmed the number of deaths in an email Monday night. Eatonville Care Centre, located on The East Mall near Burnamthorpe Road in Etobicoke, confirmed the number of deaths in an email Monday night.

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