(FOX 2) - We are all watching the number of COVID-19 cases rise. Each has face, a family, a story - this story is Lisa Ewald's, an ER nurse at Henry Ford Hospital. It is believed she is among the first known health care workers in Michigan to have lost their life due to COVID-19.
"You always think it can't effect you to a degree, so this is making it real for me," said Carly Ewald, Lisa's niece.
A 20-year veteran ER nurse, Lisa Ewald didn't have kids of her own. Her nieces and nephews were a close second.
"It's been nice to see everyone boast about how nice she was in the hospital, because I was never able to see that," Carly said.
Carly Ewald says her aunt was working on the frontlines, since the coronavirus hit Michigan, flooding the Henry Ford ER, where she worked since mid-March.
"It's nice to hear that she was so willing to be on the front lines but it's also scary for those still on it," Carly said.
By the end of the month, a high fever and cough set in. She lost her sense of smell and taste. Lisa, who had asthma, was at high-risk.
The last time anyone heard from her was Tuesday, the next day her friend found her alone at her Dearborn home. COVID-19 was the cause of death.
Carly wishes she could have shared some last words: "I'm sorry she was alone, and I that I love her."
Lisa told friends she tried to get tested twice. It wasn't until a third time, with full blown symptoms, that she got tested and COVID-19 was detected.
Henry Ford Health System, shared their condolences with Lisa's family, saying in a statement: "Regarding employee testing, we adhere strictly to the CDC guidelines. Currently, the CDC recommends testing employees only when they become symptomatic."
"She cared so more about other people than she did herself," Carly said. "And that's kind of what upsets me."
Lisa just lost her mom in December - the two were inseparable…now, the family with another funeral to plan - whenever they can.
"It's given me a new found respect for all nurses and all doctors that are continuing to do this despite knowing what could come for their families, not just them," Carly said.
Henry Ford says they continue to fight with every resource they have to protect employees and keep patients safe.