Florida Nurse Believed To Have Died of COVID Actually Died of Kidney Infection


A Palm Beach County Medical Examiner report reveals that a young nurse who passed away in April died from a kidney infection, not the coronavirus.

The report obtained by WPEC-TV, which noted that she was previously “believed to have passed from COVID-19,” shows that 33-year-old Danielle DiCenso from Wellington, Florida, died from “complications of acute pyelonephritis,” also known as a kidney infection.

DiCenso had been quarantined at home when she passed away in her sleep on April 9.

Before she died, DiCenso was tested for COVID-19 after reportedly being exposed to the virus while working at Palmetto General Hospital.

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But the test came back inconclusive, according to WPEC.

“The findings are suggestive of an ascending urinary tract infection, leading to acute pyelonephritis and subsequent sepsis,” Medical Examiner Wendolyn Sneed wrote in the autopsy report late last month, according to The Palm Beach Post.

At the time of her passing, her husband, David DiCenso, told WPEC that his wife wasn’t provided enough personal protective equipment at work.

A spokeswoman from the hospital pushed back on the claim, and said that nurses were provided the necessary equipment recommended by the Centers for Disease Control.

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“We are very focused on minimizing staff exposure in our hospital,” Shelly Weiss Friedberg said.

“All employees at our hospital are temperature checked upon arrival, wear a mask during patient care and are required to notify employee health if they become symptomatic.”

David DiCenso said his wife began to experience coronavirus symptoms in March, but she thought she could fight the virus at home.

“She was like ‘no, I don’t want to waste a ventilator on me. I’m healthy, I don’t need it,'” David DiCenso said.

“She was always caring about other people before her. I was like, ‘all right baby you’re the professional so I’ll take your advice on that.'”

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When David DiCenso talked to WPEC in April, he was still waiting for the autopsy report, but said he had no doubt she was exposed to the coronavirus at work.

“It looked like the oxygen was just taken out of her,” he said.

Danielle DiCenso’s death is not the first one in Palm Beach County incorrectly believed to be caused by COVID-19.

WPEC’s investigation team requested a list of all COVID-19 deaths from the Palm Beach County Medical Examiner’s office and found eight of the 581 cases were not caused by the coronavirus.

“I think it is completely misleading,” Palm Beach County resident Rachel Eade said.

She has been researching the same issue and is one of the people suing the county for its mask mandate.

“We need to remove those cases that are not COVID exclusive, and we need to be giving people that information.”

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Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. A University of Oregon graduate, Erin has conducted research in data journalism and contributed to various publications as a writer and editor.
Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. She grew up in San Diego, California, proceeding to attend the University of Oregon and graduate with honors holding a degree in journalism. During her time in Oregon, Erin was an associate editor for Ethos Magazine and a freelance writer for Eugene Magazine. She has conducted research in data journalism, which has been published in the book “Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future.” Erin is an avid runner with a heart for encouraging young girls and has served as a coach for the organization Girls on the Run. As a writer and editor, Erin strives to promote social dialogue and tell the story of those around her.
Tucson, Arizona
Graduated with Honors
Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, University of Oregon
Books Written
Contributor for Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future
Prescott, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English, French
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Health, Entertainment, Faith