A Filipino nurse who worked with Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan in the 80s is still serving the country to fight the spread of the new coronavirus.
Aurora Aguinaldo, 64, has been serving the community of Al Ain for nearly four decades.
“I take it as a way of giving back to this community that has long treated me as one of its own. I put in my service every day, and I pray for God’s help to beat this virus,” she told Gulf News.
Aguinaldo recalled in 1986 while in charge with a royal baby, she was honored to often be in the presence of Sheikh Zayed.
“He was carrying a toy snake and when he left it around, I thought it was a real one. I snatched the baby away to ensure she was safe. His Highness noticed this and laughed loudly, then assured me that it was a toy and that there was no danger,” she added.
Asked to describe the founding father, she said he was jovial and smiling, and such a humble and compassionate person.
Aguinaldo has been a nurse at Al Ain Hospital since 1981 and today, although she’s 64 years old, she’s still helping with the discharge and transfer of Covid-19 patients.
She joined the hospital as a paediatric staff nurse.
“I arrived with a batch of 17 nurses, all women. At the time, residents relied a lot on alternative medicine, including herbal concoctions and cupping. There was also a lot of respect given to seniors and elderly members of the community. So the head of a medical department was often the oldest, most experienced member of the staff,” she added.
For a month now, she has been closely working with Covid-19 patients.
“I had to be in full protective gear at the hospital. It was hot and uncomfortable, and difficult to see patients in pain who could only communicate with us through sign language. But we tried to smile as much as we could, and empower one another to serve the sick,” Aguinaldo said.