TODAY'S PAPER
Good Evening
Good Evening
NewsHealthCoronavirus

Ali Guillermo: Selfless, compassionate nurse from East Patchogue loved to sing and dance

Ali Guillermo, 44, of East Patchogue, dreamed of

Ali Guillermo, 44, of East Patchogue, dreamed of one day retiring in the Philippines.     Credit: Courtesy Romielyn Guillermo

Ali Dennis Guillermo came to Long Island from the Philippines in 2004 to provide a better upbringing for his family.

“In the Philippines, the big dream is to come to the U.S.,” his wife, Romielyn, said. “That’s how we could help our family, especially financially.”

Guillermo got a job as a nurse at Long Island Community Hospital, settled in East Patchogue and quickly made his mark among his colleagues as a selfless, compassionate nurse.

He died Tuesday at 44 after contracting COVID-19 last month. 

“He made us laugh,” said Cathy Santacroce-Worwetz, a 29-year nurse at LICH. “He loved life.”

He loved to sing, dance — and take the workload off others.

"No time to place that extra IV? No worries, Ali will take care of it," nurse Darriel Daniels said. "He'll send you home to sleep and not bat an eye at any work you left for him."

A note to our community:

As a public service, this article is available for all. Newsday readers support our strong local journalism by subscribing.  Please show you value this important work by becoming a subscriber now.

SUBSCRIBE

Cancel anytime

Nurses said Guillermo often would ask them about their families, and then always spoke adoringly of his children: daughter Denice, 21, and sons Ali, 18, and Aljon, who turns 13 Monday.

Family time was so important to him, especially because working 12-hour overnight shifts limited his interactions with his children.

“If he’s working, we would always be at the dinner table so he could talk to his children before he went to work,” Romielyn said. “Because by the morning, they were all gone to school and he could not see them until dinnertime again.”

He also stressed the value of an education.

Denice is a student at University of Buffalo studying architecture. Ali is set to graduate Bellport High School in June as the valedictorian.

Guillermo spoke often to his kids about their roots in the Philippines, where he and Romielyn were married and Denice and Ali were born.

As the kids got older, Romielyn said he talked of retiring at 55 and returning home.

“He always dreamed of retiring in the Philippines and having his own land to farm and be with his family,” Denice said. “It was something I hoped to help him with.”

Guillermo, an intensive care unit nurse who also helped in the emergency room, fell sick with COVID-19 in mid-March. Romielyn said he had been hospitalized since March 25.

A private service is being planned, but Romielyn is hopeful of a public ceremony once limitations on public gatherings are lifted.

A note to our community:

As a public service, this article is available for all. Newsday readers support our strong local journalism by subscribing.  Please show you value this important work by becoming a subscriber now.

SUBSCRIBE

Cancel anytime

Health