Health Professionals and Allied Employees are “healthcare heroes.” As a memorial facebook page of HPAE Local 5030, AFT notes, “When they walk into work, they do so knowing they may putting their own lives at risk.” Alfredo Pabatao, a proud member of HPAE Local 5030, did just that, when on March 26 he succumbed to COVID19 at the age of 68. His beloved wife of 44 years Susana Pabatao died just six days later. Alfredo and Susana were both admitted to the Hackensack Meridian Health Palisades Medical Center in North Bergen, where Alfredo worked for 18 years as a transport aide, but they died floors apart and alone. Alfredo and Susana met in their early 20s, when the two were neighbors in the Philippines. After dating for seven months, they got married and immigrated to the U.S. in 2001. Susana Pabatao, 64, was an assistant nurse at a nursing home.
In a tribute to her father, Cheryl Pabatao said that Alfredo had the most vibrant attitude: he was always optimistic, always smiling and telling jokes. He was nurturing and welcoming to his family, colleagues, coworkers, family friends and relatives. He was hardworking and had an incredible work ethic. But of all the roles he fulfilled throughout his lifetime, “the most important one was being Dad. He never failed or disappointed us. He’s a hand to hold when everything is uncertain. He stays with you to your lowest point of your life and will pick you up over and over with unconditional love. This virus will never define him nor defeat him. He was a true warrior. It was his time to be with our God almighty. The life he lived and the memories we shared will always live on in my heart.”
Alfredo Pabatao, May 9, 1951-March 26, 2020