(CNN)For the majority of her 69 years, Celia Yap-Banago dedicated her life to her patients, carrying out her nursing duties.
But just weeks before she was set to celebrate her 40th anniversary at the hospital, the tables turned as she became the one needing care after contracting the coronavirus.
Yap-Banago died on April 21 at age 69, her son told CNN. Tuesday would have marked her 40th anniversary at the hospital.
Now, her colleagues, and the nurses' union she was a member of, hope her death will raise awareness about the lack of personal protective equipment.
They want to push hospitals and government leaders to acquire more for the nurses and other health care workers on the front lines of this crisis.
When the coronavirus pandemic hit the Research Medical Center in Kansas City, Missouri, Yap-Banago told her family not to worry because she was working in the cardiac telemetry unit, which is on a different floor than where coronavirus patients were being treated.
But on March 23, one of her patients started showing symptoms of Covid-19, according to her son, Jhulan Banago.
"It was a Monday when I got a text from my mom saying, 'Hey, I just had a patient that was showing Covid-19 symptoms,' a 'just be careful' kind of thing," Banago, 28, told CNN.
As many other health care workers across the US have expressed, Yap-Banago raised concerns about the lack of PPE at her hospital, according to her son.
Collectively, the nurses at RMC raised concerns of "insufficient supplies of the optimal personal protective equipment for RNs and other health care workers, delays in notifying nurses of being exposed to a suspected infected patients and staff and expected to continue reporting to work when exposed," National United Nurses, Yap-Banago's union, said in a statement.
Christine Hamele, HCA Midwest Health System spokeswoman, called the allegations of exposure "vague."
"We screen all individuals entering the hospital, including our colleagues and we follow CDC and state health department guidelines on the notification of any individuals who may have been in contact with a suspected COVID patient," she said in an email statement to CNN. "As important, if a colleague is quarantined per the CDC guidelines and works in a patient care facility, we will pay 100 percent of base pay for up to two weeks, regardless of where the exposure occurred."
Charlene Carter, a registered nurse at RMC who worked with Yap-Banago for seven years, first treated the patient before handing her off to Yap-Banago.
After seeing that the patient was exhibiting potential coronavirus symptoms, Carter said she raised her concerns to her charge nurse, who then relayed those concerns to higher-ups.
"They assured my charge nurse that they were not treating this patient as if she has Covid-19," Carter told CNN. "It was already an understanding that if you didn't have a positive Covid patient, they didn't want you to use PPE unnecessarily."
Carter said that the PPE was placed in a centralized location for the floors that worked with confirmed and probable coronavirus patients.
When asked about Carter's assertion, Hamele declined to comment further.
Two days after treating the patient, Yap-Banago learned that the patient had tested positive for the virus, according to her son.
So, she took extra precautions to avoid potentially spreading the virus by isolating herself away from her husband and sleeping on the living room couch.
"It wasn't until maybe that Sunday (March 29) where it started to take a turn for the worst," Banago said. "Her fever got up to over 101 and she wasn't eating so that's when we swapped her back into her room and dad came out