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Coronavirus UK: Girl in foster care as mother dies, father in ICU

A teenage girl has been taken into foster care after the coronavirus killed her NHS nurse mother and left her father, who is also a health worker, fighting for his life.

Devastated Carmina Medel, 14, lost her mother Leilani, 41, on Good Friday.

She died at the Princess of Wales Hospital, Bridgend, South Wales, where she worked.

Carmina’s father Johnny, 39, who is a medical technician, is being treated for coronavirus in the hospital’s intensive care unit, where his condition is described as ‘critical.’

Social services were forced to find a temporary home for the youngster after being unable to place her with an aunt who was already in self-isolation with coronavirus symptoms.

A local authority source told MailOnline that Carmina was ‘doing as well as can be expected’. 

Carmina Medel (centre) has been taken into foster care after the coronavirus killed her NHS nurse mother (right) and left her father, (left) who is also a health worker, fighting for his life

Leilani, 41, died at the Princess of Wales Hospital, Bridgend, South Wales, on Good Friday. She worked at the hospital where she died

Leilani, 41, died at the Princess of Wales Hospital, Bridgend, South Wales, on Good Friday. She worked at the hospital where she died

Speaking from the Philippines, Ms Medel’s brother Noel Osoteo told MailOnline: ‘We haven’t been able to speak to Carmina and can’t imagine what she must going through.

‘She’s just a child who has lost her mother, now could now lose her father and is dealing with this by herself. That really hurts because all we want to do is comfort her and give her love.

‘At a time like this you need family around you but sadly, Carmina doesn’t have this. We are all devastated and want to be with her but that’s impossible. I just pray that she is OK.’ 

A spokeswoman from Bridgend Children’s Social Care department confirmed that Carmina was in their care. 

‘We have made the necessary arrangements to look after and support Carmina,’ she said. ‘We cannot discuss details of any individual cases.’ 

Ms Medel’s aunt, Maris Allinebem, 64 lives in Bristol but was unable to take Carmina in because she herself is in self-isolation.

Ms Allinebem said: ‘Officially I’m not the next of kin but would have loved to have Carmina live with me until her father gets better, which I’m praying he does. 

‘She’s with a foster family and we’ve heard that she’s very upset and worried but is coping as best she can.

‘I’ve been ringing the hospital about Johnny, but they won’t give me any information, and this is just adding to my worry.’

She added: ‘I last spoke to Leilani on March 26 and she told me that she was worried about getting coronavirus and that she and Johnny were both showing symptoms. I told her to take care because nursing is a very risky profession at a time like this.

Social services found a temporary home for  Carmina (pictured with her mother) after being unable to place her with an aunt who was in self-isolation with coronavirus symptoms. A local authority source told MailOnline that Carmina was 'doing as well as can be expected'

Social services found a temporary home for  Carmina (pictured with her mother) after being unable to place her with an aunt who was in self-isolation with coronavirus symptoms. A local authority source told MailOnline that Carmina was ‘doing as well as can be expected’

Speaking from the Philippines, Ms Medel's brother Noel Osoteo told MailOnline: 'We haven't been able to speak to Carmina and can't imagine what she is going through. She's just a child who has lost her mother, now could now lose her father and is dealing with this by herself'

Speaking from the Philippines, Ms Medel’s brother Noel Osoteo told MailOnline: ‘We haven’t been able to speak to Carmina and can’t imagine what she is going through. She’s just a child who has lost her mother, now could now lose her father and is dealing with this by herself’

‘I tried contacting her after that but never heard from her. Then the next thing I hear is that she had died, and that Johnny is also in intensive care.’

News of Ms Medel’s death was reported on Good Friday, making her the fourth Filipino NHS worker to die after contracting coronavirus.

Just three weeks before, she posted a heart-warming picture of herself and Carmina on Facebook declaring: ‘I can’t stay at home. I’m a Nurse!’

In another demonstration of her dedication to her profession, she posted a picture of herself with Johnny and Carmina while on holiday with the words: ‘Proud to be a Nurse.’

Johnny also worked as a health care professional in Bridgend.

Mr Osoteo, 39 said: ‘Leilani loved her work and was very proud of being a nurse in England. 

‘She died trying to save people in the country and put her own life at risk. Johnny was also very proud of what he did. They both loved looking after people.

‘Both of them were very special, kind and caring. I will really miss my sister, she was a wonderful soul.’

Ms Medel was born and raised in Santiago, Philippines and studied nursing at a local university where she also met her future husband Johnny. 

They married in 2003 and moved to Britain a year later, settling in Bridgend, where their daughter was born.

Ms Medel was born and raised in Santiago, Philippines and studied nursing at a local university where she also met her future husband Johnny. They married in 2003 and moved to Britain a year later, settling in Bridgend, where their daughter was born.

Ms Medel was born and raised in Santiago, Philippines and studied nursing at a local university where she also met her future husband Johnny. They married in 2003 and moved to Britain a year later, settling in Bridgend, where their daughter was born.

Mr Osoteo (above) revealed that he last saw his sister in 2018, when she visited the Philippines for a family holiday. Mr Osoteo said that the family are hoping to bring Ms Medel's ashes back to the Philippines and scatter them at her favourite places in Santiago

Mr Osoteo (above) revealed that he last saw his sister in 2018, when she visited the Philippines for a family holiday. Mr Osoteo said that the family are hoping to bring Ms Medel’s ashes back to the Philippines and scatter them at her favourite places in Santiago

Mr Osoteo revealed that he last saw his sister in 2018, when she visited the Philippines for a family holiday.

In recent years, the family has been beset by tragedy with Mr Osoteo losing a brother, his mother and now his last surviving sibling, which he reveals, has left his father, Eduardo, 69, a ‘broken man.’

Mr Osoteo said that the family are hoping to bring Ms Medel’s ashes back to the Philippines and scatter them at her favourite places in Santiago.

He cried: ‘We have suffered a lot as a family and my father does not understand why all this is happening to us.

‘Leilani would have wanted to have been brought back home but at this stage, we don’t even know when her funeral will be taking place.

‘But our thoughts at this moment are with Johnny and Carmina. We are just praying that he will recover and that she can have her father back in her life.’

A spokesman for Bridgend County Borough Council said: ‘Our sympathies are with the family at this sad time. 

‘We are making all necessary arrangements to provide those who have been affected by this tragic death with our full support.’ 

:: The family has set up a GoFundMe page for the Medel family:  https://www.gofundme.com/f/leilanis-fund-raising?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=p_cp+share-sheet

 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk