MANILA – The United Arab Emirates (UAE) Embassy in Manila honored the kin of the late Filipina nurse Lezly Orine Ocampo, who passed away at the height of the pandemic after catching the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) in the line of duty.

At the UAE National Day reception on Thursday night, UAE Ambassador to the Philippines Mohamed Obaid Alqataam Alzaabi hosted an honorary tribute for Ocampo's family, including her eight-year-old daughter Shammy who was only five when Ocampo died.

Ocampo was also recognized anew along with four other front-liners, with the UAE Embassy in Manila replaying an audio clip of UAE President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan (MBZ) who personally sent his sympathies to the bereaved in 2020.

Ocampo was working as a nurse in a home center service for elderly patients in Abu Dhabi for three years.

Her partner, Julius Concepcion said she did her duties diligently even during the lockdown and tended to her patients until she caught a severe case of Covid-19 on April 27, 2020.

For two weeks, communication between them was constant despite her worsening coughing fits.

"Nakakausap namin siya pero hirap na hirap na siya, pati dugo lumalabas na sa kanya kapag umuubo. Hanggang noong May 10, hindi na siya ma-contact, nagri-ring at nagri-ring na lang ang cellphone niya (We were able to talk to her but back then she was already having a difficult time. She was already coughing blood. Until on May 10, I could no longer contact her. Her phone was just ringing)," Concepcion told the Philippine News Agency (PNA).

On May 12, 2020, Ocampo succumbed to the disease.

"'Yung huling usap namin ang sabi niya: 'Mahal na mahal ko kayo, huwag niyong pababayaan si Shammy ('yong anak namin).’ Parang namamaalam na siya kasi hirap na hirap na siya. Itong anak namin ang lagi niyang binabanggit (In our last conversation, she said: “I love you very much and take care of Shammy [our daughter].’ It was as if she was already saying goodbye. She was always mentioning our child)," Concepcion narrated.

Ocampo, like many other Filipino mothers, braved the homesickness and left for abroad to provide for her then three-year-old kid.

Had the lockdown not happened, Concepcion said his wife would have taken a vacation in the Philippines in May 2020.

In the audio clip played by the embassy, MBZ could be heard telling Julius not to hesitate if there is anything the UAE could do to help.

At this point, Concepcion said his main focus was securing the future of his daughter. (PNA)