HUNDREDS of staff bid a moving goodbye to one of their own as after it was arranged for nurse Zaldy Manalo’s funeral procession to pass through hospital grounds.
More than 250 staff members, as well as former patients, joined the moving occasion on Friday, July 3 to pay their respects to colleague Zaldy Manalo, known as Zaldy to friends.
As the funeral cortege arrived at Glan Clwyd Hospital, a spontaneous outbreak of applause broke out and staff laid flowers in the path of the hearse; Zaldy loved his garden and wife Agnes had suggested staff might like to scatter flowers in Zaldy’s path as a floral tribute.
Zaldy, who had two children, Nicole, 21, and Dylan, 16, died on June 14 after contracting Covid-19.
The 51-year-old from the Phillippines worked as a nurse on Ward 5 at Glan Clwyd Hospital.
Speaking after the procession, Janet Garnett, head of nursing for surgery at Glan Clwyd Hospital, said: “Today has been an extremely moving occasion for everyone at Glan Clwyd Hospital and a very fitting tribute to a much loved colleague who touched the lives of so many staff and patients over the last 19 years.
“Zaldy was described by patients as a nurse who did his job brilliantly, a nurse who made patients feel at ease and a nurse who deeply loved his job.
“He has given us many fond memories, it was an honour to work with him. He will be missed greatly, and forever in our hearts.”
Zaldy Manalo, known as Zaldy to friends
Zaldy’s final journey took him from the main entrance of the hospital. The procession then passed in front of the renal unit and back on the main road travelling on the A55 to St Asaph Crematorium for a private family service.
Zaldy had worked at Glan Clwyd Hospital and Abergele Hospital since August 2001; he was recruited from the Phillippines to work in North Wales.
He was well respected and loved by all his patients and colleagues.
Fergus Madden, whose wife Margaret who had been a patient at Glan Clwyd Hospital, described Zaldy as a ‘wonderful nurse’ who was very caring and kind.
He said: “My wife was in Abergele Hospital for a hip operation in Feb 2007 which went wrong, so she was in ward six for nine months and had seven to eight ops to try to fix the problem. These failed.
“After a visit home for Christmas she was transferred to Glan Clwyd Hospital in Feb 2008 where she had four or five more operations – again failed.
“I visited her twice a day, every day, so I got to know all the nurses,in both hospitals who were all so kind and caring to Margaret. In the process I got to know Rizal Manalo, who was known to Margaret and I as Zaldy. He became a great friend to Margaret and I and he was so kind and caring to her.
A fitting tribute to a much loved colleague Zaldy Manalo
“When she was going through a really tough time Margaret only had to ask for something and it was granted, thanks to Zaldy’s immediate response..
“He was always cheerful, which cheered up Margaret during a very dark time, and on her birthday he made a display with balloons etc.
“I felt that Margaret would have gone under if it wasn’t for Zaldy and the special care from the sister and the other nurses including Anne-Marie, another caring friend of ours, and her colleagues.
“Before Zaldy went home each day he would come to see Margaret to ask her if there was anything she wanted before he left.
“I want to let his family know how great he was,and to thank them for giving us Zaldy.”
Karen Davies, matron for Ward 5, said: “Zaldy would always greet you with a smile in the morning and always had a story to tell.
“He was a caring and compassionate member of the team, a true gentleman.
“A colleague and family friend said that Zaldy was known as their “kuya”, an old brother within the Filipino community.
“He loved to socialise and sing, especially taking part in karaoke. They also said how important his job was to him as he loved his work.
“He will be greatly missed by his wife Agnes and two children.”