Peace Arch Hospital nurse Diana Law, 57, has died of complications related to COVID-19. (Contributed photo)

Peace Arch Hospital nurse Diana Law, 57, has died of complications related to COVID-19. (Contributed photo)

B.C. nurse 1st in province to die from COVID-19 complications

Diana Law, 57, worked at Peace Arch Hospital for more than two decades

A longtime nurse at Peace Arch Hospital has died from complications of COVID-19. She is the first nurse in B.C. to have succumbed to the virus.

Diana Law is being remembered as a dedicated, attentive patient-care co-ordinator at Peace Arch Hospital, who spent her life helping people in need.

“Diana was committed to the care of her patients and the well-being of her colleagues. She was a very giving person – easy to talk to, and quick to step in where help was needed,” her obituary reads.

Law, 57, died on April 14.

She is survived by her children Sydney, 19, Alexander, 16, her mother Minlin, sister Sylvia and brother Michael.

Her husband, Glen Culshaw, was married to her for nearly 30 years. Culshaw and Law, who both attended high school at Queen Elizabeth Secondary, first met at a party in 1981.

OBITUARY: Diana Law

“It was spinning out of control. The three of us were the only ones not doing anything wrong and she walked up and kicked us out,” Culshaw said.

“And we went, OK…. I said to my friend, ‘Do you know her?… I like her, feisty.’

“After that we met up and that was it.”

Asked what kind of person Law was, Culshaw said he’s been asked that question all day.

“We were just so used to being around each other that you don’t think of how to put it into words what kind of person they are. If you asked anybody she worked with, she was one of the most reliable people you could think of.”

Culshaw said said he noticed a change in his wife’s temperament around Christmas time.

“She wasn’t as happy as she would be, usually. So then I started pressuring her to go to the doctor.”

Thinking it was a reaction to the medication she was taking for a kidney transplant she had eight years ago, which is something that happened prior, they booked an appointment at the kidney clinic on New Year’s Eve.

In the hospital, staff checked her blood pressure and attempted to use a finger scanner to read her blood oxygen level, but couldn’t find a reading.

“Then they did her blood pressure, it was so low. I forget what the number was, but it was low. They basically said, ‘Wow, you’re lucky you brought her in.’”

Law was immediately transferred to the emergency room, but Culshaw wasn’t allowed inside the hospital due to COVID-19 concerns.

“A couple hours later, they phoned me and said that she’s not going home. She’s staying. And you need to go get tested because she tested positive.”

A few days later, Law was put on a ventilator. Doctors also put her on an ECMO machine, which filters blood to an artificial lung, adding oxygen and removing carbon dioxide. Law was also given blood thinners and steroids.

She eventually started to suffer abdominal bleeding, which needed to be repaired in the operating room.

Then, Curslaw said, she got blood clots in her hands and feet.

“Basically, when she died, if she had lived they would have had to cut off one of her hands and one of her feet, and toes and fingers from the other ones. Her kidneys had shut down, she was on constant dialyses, and her lungs were so scarred they didn’t know if she would ever get off a ventilator,” Curslaw said.

Shortly after her death, Law’s colleagues posted condolences to her family and shared memories of the nurse, who worked at PAH for more than 25 years.

“Worked with Diana. She was one of those people you just wanted to give a big squishy hug to (although she hated that). Always smiling, always looking out for everyone. One of the genuinely good people in this world,” Aliya K wrote on Twitter.

“Diana was a well loved PCC at PAH. She was the steady hand that steered the ship in any crisis. She was a quiet strength and everyone loved and respected her,” Sheila Rhodes wrote.

The BC Nurses’ Union posted a statement expressing great sadness over Law’s death.

“On behalf of the entire elected Council, know that this tragedy has affected the leadership of this union deeply. We have taken the unusual step to darken our website, to show our respect and convey our collective sorrow,” the statement read.

“The loss is a sombre reminder of the sacrifices that each of you are making during the COVID-19 pandemic. During this time of distress, sorrow, and reflection our union will not stop in our efforts to support nurses of BC.”

In her Monday press conference, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry confirmed Law was the first nurse in B.C. to die of COVID-19.

“It is a tragedy. It is something that affects all of us in the health care system when one of our own passes away,” Henry said.

In lieu of a memorial service, the family is asking people to consider registering as an organ donor, to donate to the B.C. Kidney Foundation, Diabetes Canada, UBC/VGH Hospital Foundation or the local food bank.



aaron.hinks@peacearchnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

CoronavirusHealthcarewhite rock

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Interfor’s Castlegar mill is getting $35 million in upgrades. Photo by: John Boivin
Interfor to invest $35 million at Castlegar mill

Project will enhance productivity and competitiveness

A medical worker prepares vials of the COVID-19 vaccines, Chinese Sinopharm, left, Sputnik V, center, and Pfizer at a vaccine centre, in the Usce shopping mall in Belgrade, Serbia, Thursday, May 6, 2021. Serbian authorities are looking for incentives for people to boost vaccination that has slowed down in recent weeks amid widespread anti-vaccination and conspiracy theories in the Balkan nation. The government has also promised a payment of around 25 euros to everyone who gets vaccinated by the end of May. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)
38 new COVID-19 cases, more than 335k vaccines administered in Interior Health

Interior Health also to start targeted vaccinations in high transmission neighbourhoods

FILE PHOTO
Second doses of COVID-19 vaccine will be available, as AstraZeneca supply runs low: Interior Health

Province expecting large volumes of Pfizer BioNTech as age-based cohort immunization program ramps up

Greg Nesteroff and Eric Brighton, the historians behind popular Facebook page Lost Kootenays, are set to release a book of the same name and have just unveiled its cover showing the ghostly Hotel in Slocan City shortly before its 1953 demolition. Photo courtesy of Greg Nesteroff and Eric Brighton.
Popular historical Facebook page Lost Kootenays set to release book

128-page hard copy documenting history of East and West Kootenays coming this fall

Paul Chung is working as an early childhood educator at Cornerstone Children’s Centre in Nelson. Photo: Bill Metcalfe
Immigration pilot targets hard-to-fill jobs in West Kootenay

Program helps newcomers get permanent residency status in rural areas

Four homes in Johnson Flats were at serious risk of falling into a neighbourhood section of the Kettle River, according to capital project manager Justin Dinsdale. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Grand Forks shields riverside homes against erosion

Crews have built a modified dike along a section of the Kettle River in Johnson Flats

Edmonton Oilers’ Connor McDavid (97) celebrates his 100th point this season with Leon Draisaitl (29) against the Vancouver Canucks during second period NHL action in Edmonton on Saturday, May 8, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Edmonton superstar McDavid hits 100-point mark as Oilers edge Canucks 4-3

NHL scoring leader needs just 53 games to reach century mark

Nuns of Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity, carry some of her relics during a vigil of prayer in preparation for the canonization of Mother Teresa in the St. John in Latheran Basilica at the Vatican, Friday, Sept. 2, 2016. In which city did she do much of her charitable work? (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
QUIZ: How much do you know about these motherhood issues?

In honour of Mother’s Day, take this 10-question quiz

A map showing where the most number of cases were recorded from April 23 to 29. This map, revealing a breakdown of infections by neighborhood, was pulled from a data package leaked to the Vancouver Sun last week (and independently verified).
36 Abbotsford schools flagged for COVID-19 exposures in the last 2 weeks, shattering record

Clearbrook Elementary recorded an ‘exposure’ on all 11 school days

Canada’s chief public health officer is reminding Canadians even those who are fully vaccinated are not immune from transmitting the COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns full vaccination does not equal full protection from COVID-19

Post-inoculation, Theresa Tam says the risk of asymptomatic infection and transmission is far lower but not obsolete

The dash cam footage, taken May 7 at 8:18 a.m. belonged to the driver of a southbound vehicle that recently travelled out of the tunnel. (Reddit/Screen grab)
VIDEO: Dash cam captures dramatic rollover crash on Highway 99

Only one person sustained injuries from the collision, says B.C. Ambulance Services

Chevy stranded on a ledge above a rocky canyon at Mimi Falls near Logan Lake, April 28, 2021. (Photo credit: Margot Wikjord)
Police officer and fire chief team up in risky rescue of stranded dog near Logan Lake

Chevy, a rescue dog, needed rescuing again after getting stuck on a ledge above rocky canyon

Police were on the scene of a fatal shooting in Abbotsford. (Black Press Media files)
B.C. government to give more than $8 million for programs to curb gang violence

221 not-for-profit projects led by local governments and school districts among others will receive a one-time grant

Most Read