For nearly 30 years, Amelia Agbigay Baclig, known as "Mama Amy," cared for patients at Queen of the Valley Hospital in West Covina. But last month, the night nurse died from complications of COVID-19.
- As we told you at the top of the hour, more than half a million Americans have now been lost to COVID-19. Thousands, of course, right here in Southern California.
- Well, one local woman dedicated her life to helping others until COVID-19 took hers. KCAL 9's Harmela Aregawi has her story.
AUBREY JOY BACLIG: The doctor had given us a call saying, like, hey, we think your mom will pass away soon. And that was the most horrible call anyone can ever get.
It's been exactly a month since 63-year-old Amelia Agbigay Baclig passed away from COVID-19 complications. The beloved mother of three and grandmother of two was also a nurse adored by her colleagues. For nearly 30 years, Baclig was known as Mama Amy to the team at Queen of the Valley Hospital in West Covina.
MARY KONYALIAN: Her willingness to help her comrades, her nurses, especially the new grads. They viewed as their mother. I remember her beautiful smile. Her humbleness. You know, she had no arrogance at all.
AUBREY JOY BACLIG: Very humble, you know? And just kind of went about life in such a gentle way. And what I would want-- and people-- without me even saying, people remember my mom as that person. Her phone is still activated, and people still text me like they're texting my mom and saying, we miss you so much. You changed my life.
HARMELA AREGAWI: Baclig which was a night nurse for decades and took pride in taking care of others. Originally from the Philippines, she moved to the United States with her husband at the age of 27. They were together for 50 years. Their middle child Aubrey tells us the family was close-knit.
AUBREY JOY BACLIG: The experience literally turned our world upside down. I think it what hurt, too, was that we couldn't visit her. But luckily, by chance, two different times the doctor allowed my brother to go visit her.
HARMELA AREGAWI: Aubrey's older brother spent New Year's Day with his mother and saw her one other time before she went into the ICU.
AUBREY JOY BACLIG: Not being able to see her, not being allowed to be by her bedside and know that she was on a ventilator, it almost just, at the end, was like, oh God, like, we don't want her to suffer anymore. We don't want her to be in pain.
HARMELA AREGAWI: The family says they want Baclig to be remembered as the selfless person that she was, and they want to keep that legacy alive through what she's taught them. Harmela Aregawi, KCAL 9 News.