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Remembering New York Hospital Worker Gianmarco Bertolotti

SACHA PFEIFFER, HOST:

We've been remembering frontline workers we lost to the pandemic - today, Gianmarco Bertolotti. At his job as a mason at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, people couldn't help but smile around him. He died on April 22 after contracting COVID-19 while continuing to work. He was 42 years old. His sister is Monique Bertolotti. She remembers him always making the holidays a little bit brighter.

MONIQUE BERTOLOTTI: You know, Italians do a big Christmas Eve where we have, you know, a boatload of fish (laughter). And we cook together, and we laugh together. And I was just looking at these videos, and he would get everybody up dancing with him. He got my grandmother, who at that time was, like, 90, up and dancing.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

GIANMARCO BERTOLOTTI: (Unintelligible).

M BERTOLOTTI: He would sing at the top of his lungs and just, you know, like a really beautiful human being full of life and love (laughter).

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

M BERTOLOTTI: You know, my uncle said to me the other day that he's decided that he's going to try to be more like my brother in his approach to life. He wants to approach life more gently and not to, like, sweat the small stuff. And for me, I would like to explore life without restriction like my brother did. You know, I'm the older one, so I'm more responsible. I'm more - you know? So I would love to just, you know, be a little more free.

And I really would love for everybody to remember how Gianmarco made you feel in life and then do things in your life that make you feel that way. You know, he was taken from us in such a dark way. I want to make sure people remember him.

(SOUNDBITE OF BEE GEES' "STAYIN' ALIVE")

PFEIFFER: That was Monique Bertolotti. Her brother Gianmarco Bertolotti died of complications from COVID-19 in late April. If you'd like to see more of our frontline workers remembrances, please go to npr.org. And you can also submit any remembrances you have to contribute.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "STAYIN' ALIVE")

BEE GEES: (Singing) ...No time to talk. Music loud and women warm, I've been kicked around since I was born. And now it's all right. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.