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

One of three new hangars can be seen going up at the new Langley airport terminal building, blocking the view of the old air traffic control tower (L) , which was closed when NAV Canada operations shifted to the new tower (R).(Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)
Construction of new Langley airport terminal building nears completion

NAV Canada has moved into the new tower in the terminal, which means work on hangars can proceed

The site of a planned new restaurant will be that of the former Lampliter and the cottage next door on Glover Road. (Langley Advance Times files)
Vacant Fort Langley buildings to be replaced with restaurant

The new project will retain a large tree on Glover Road

Trash collectors in Langley City will start refusing to pick up organic waste mixed with plastic. (File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Organic waste mixed with plastic will be left at the curb, Langley City warns

Plastic contamination of green bins called ‘exceptionally high and unacceptable’

Undated Google photo of Safeway (20871 Fraser Hwy.).
Safeway, FreshCo, Shoppers and three Langley schools record COVID-19 cases

Two COVID-positive staff reported at same Safeway within days

A bullet hole is seen in the windshield of an RCMP vehicle approximately 4 km from Vancouver International Airport after a one person was killed during a shooting outside the international departures terminal at the airport, in Richmond, B.C., Sunday, May 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Homicide team IDs man in fatal YVR shooting as police grapple with spate of gang violence

Man, 20, charged in separate fatal shooting Burnaby over the weekend

Keith MacIntyre - BC Libertarian
Penticton’s Keith MacIntyre new leader of the B.C. Libertarian Party

The Penticton businessman was voted in by members of the party on May 8

RCMP are searching for Philip Toner, who is a 'person of interest' in the investigation of a suspicious death in Kootenay National Park last week. Photo courtesy BC RCMP.
Man sought in suspicious Kootenay death found in Lake Country

Philip Toner is a person of interest in the death of Brenda Ware

Vernon North Okanagan RCMP reported to 287 mental health calls between Jan. 1, 2021, and May 1. (Black Press files)
‘It’s not the police’s responsibility to deal with mental health calls’: Vernon RCMP

RCMP remind public to take care of mental health and well-being, while better solutions are sought

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Thompson Rivers University campus is in Kamloops, B.C. (KTW file photo)
Thompson Rivers the 1st B.C. university to supply free menstrual products

The university will offer the products this September

Fraser Health is using ‘targeted’ vaccination clinics in high-risk areas of the Lower Mainland. (Fraser Health photo)
B.C.’s COVID-19 decrease continues, 515 new cases Tuesday

426 seriously ill people in hospital, up from 415 Monday

The site of Sunfest, Laketown Ranch, will be open for camping this summer. (Citizen file)
Sunfest country music bash won’t be shining on B.C. in 2021

Annual Vancouver Island Festival cancelled due to COVID-19, along with Laketown Shakedown

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation elected chief councillor Moses Martin, who was also Chantel Moore’s grandfather, speaks to media in Port Alberni on Aug. 16, 2020, during a visit from NDP leader Jagmeet Singh following the police shooting of Chantel Moore. (Elena Rardon photo)
Mother of 2 shot by police in critical condition, says B.C. First Nation chief

Community ‘devastated’ by third member of 1,150-person Vancouver Island nation shot in less than a year

Most Read