RIVERSIDE, Calif., June 25, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- To celebrate her life and protest a lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) at HCA Riverside Community Hospital, co-workers, family and friends of Sally Lara, a laboratory assistant at the hospital who died June 8 from COVID-19, will hold a candlelight vigil from 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, June 25 at the hospital, 14th Street and Brockton Ave., in Riverside.

"My mother lost her life in the pursuit of helping others, and I strongly believe if proper prevention was in place this tragedy could have been avoided," said Vanessa Campos, Lara's daughter. "She is not another number in the death toll. She is truly a hero who stood up and spoke out against injustice for all people."

When the pandemic started, Lara wanted to help and came out of retirement to work in the Riverside Community Hospital lab. She spoke out about lack of PPE for caregivers, but she kept on working despite the lack of protection. On Mother's Day, she began to show symptoms of COVID-19, and a few weeks later, she passed away.

Lara is now the second HCA Riverside Community Hospital to succumb to COVID-19. Last month Rosa Luna, an environmental services housekeeper passed away from the coronavirus.

Workers say frontline healthcare workers are not always given enough or proper PPE to keep themselves safe on the job.

Lara is survived by her husband, 3 children and eight grandchildren.

The vigil will be held with social distancing and participants will be required to wear masks.


Candlelight vigil to remember fallen hospital worker Sally Lara, who died from COVID-19, and to protest a lack of PPE for frontline healthcare workers at Riverside Community Hospital.


7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, June 25.


Riverside Community Hospital, 14th Street and Brockton Ave., in Riverside.

SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West (SEIU-UHW) is one of the largest unions of hospital workers in the United States, with 97,000 members. Learn more at www.seiu-uhw.org.


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