‘She didn’t have a mask’: Husband believes Florida ICU nurse found dead in home had COVID-19

The husband of a Florida nurse who recently died of what he believes were complications of COVID-19 says his wife did not have the proper safety equipment while dealing with sick patients. 

Danielle Dicensio worked as an ICU nurse at the Palmetto General Hospital in Hialeah on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic before coming down with flu-like symptoms last month. 

“She was on a shift where she had COVID patients, and she didn’t have a mask. She was very scared of going to work,” her husband, David Dicensio, told WSVN.

Danielle Dicensio photographed with her son and husband worked as an ICU nurse where she treated COVID-19 patients. (Courtesy of WSVN)

She was tested for the virus with inconclusive results, but her husband said she kept coughing and her fever would not go down. 

The symptoms would not go away and on Thursday, David found Danielle dead in their home.

“I had to find her in my living room like that, and obviously she looked like she died a peaceful death, but still it’s really messed up,” Dicensio said. 

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“It’s really sad. I have a 4-year-old, and he doesn’t have a mommy anymore,” Dicensio added. “It makes me really angry.”

A Gofundme was set up to support Danielle’s funeral costs, as well as to provide support for her son.

WSVN reported that another nurse at Palmetto General Hospital, Earl Bailey, died in early April after testing positive for COVID-19. Bailey’s wife made similar complaints that her husband did not have a mask at work. 

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“It’s counter-productive to not give our nurses and doctors exactly what they need,” Dicensio said. “If a hospital is under-equipped, under-managed, under-budgeted, whatever the case may be, we should be rerouting people to different locations because it’s killing the people who are trying to save lives.”

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Shelly Weiss Freidberg, director of public relations for Tenet Healthcare, which provides staffing for Palmetto General Hospital, told WSVN in a statement, “All employees at our hospital are temperature checked upon arrival, wear a mask during patient care and are required to notify employee health if they become symptomatic.”

Currently, Dicensio is awaiting the official cause of death for Danielle as he struggles with the new reality for his family, according to WSVN.