STAFF will say a goodbye to their colleague Zaldy Manalo when his funeral procession comes through the hospital grounds.

Rizal Manalo, known as Zaldy to his friends and colleagues, died on June 14 after contracting Covid-19.

The 51-year-old from the Phillippines worked as a nurse on Ward 5 at Glan Clwyd Hospital. He was married to Agnes and had two children, Nicole, 21, and Dylan, 16.

Zaldy's funeral will take place on Friday, July 3.

Alison Griffiths, director of nursing at Glan Clwyd Hospital, said: "Zaldy's family would like to ensure that staff at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd have the opportunity to pay their respects.

"Zaldy's journey will take him to the main entrance of the hospital at around 1.30pm, then pass in front of the renal unit and back on the main road travelling on the A55 to St Asaph Crematorium for a private family service.

"Staff are invited to line the route by 1.25pm in a tribute to Zaldy and in support of his family and friends.

"Zaldy loved his garden and his wife Agnes has indicated that staff might like to scatter flowers in Zaldy's path as a floral tribute.

"We would love to see as many staff as possible, socially distancing, to show our appreciation for Zaldy's contribution to the health board and its patients over the last 19 years."

Zaldy had worked at Glan Clwyd Hospital and Abergele Hospital since August 2001; he was recruited from the Phillippines to work in North Wales.

He was well respected and loved by all his patients and colleagues.

Fergus Madden, whose wife Margaret who had been a patient at Glan Clwyd Hospital, described Zaldy as a 'wonderful nurse' who was very caring and kind.

He said: "My wife was in Abergele Hospital for a hip operation in Feb 2007 which went wrong, so she was in ward six for nine months and had seven to eight ops to try to fix the problem. These failed.

"After a visit home for Christmas she was transferred to Glan Clwyd Hospital in Feb 2008 where she had four or five more operations - again failed.

"I visited her twice a day, every day, so I got to know all the nurses,in both hospitals who were all so kind and caring to Margaret. In the process I got to know Rizal Manalo, who was known to Margaret and I as Zaldy. He became a great friend to Margaret and I and he was so kind and caring to her.

"When she was going through a really tough time Margaret only had to ask for something and it was granted, thanks to Zaldy's immediate response..

"He was always cheerful, which cheered up Margaret during a very dark time, and on her birthday he made a display with balloons etc.

"I felt that Margaret would have gone under if it wasn't for Zaldy and the special care from the sister and the other nurses including Anne-Marie, another caring friend of ours, and her colleagues.

"Before Zaldy went home each day he would come to see Margaret to ask her if there was anything she wanted before he left.

"I want to let his family know how great he was,and to thank them for giving us Zaldy."

Karen Davies, matron for Ward 5, said: “Zaldy would always greet you with a smile in the morning and always had a story to tell.

"He was a caring and compassionate member of the team, a true gentleman.

“A colleague and family friend said that Zaldy was known as their “kuya”, an old brother within the Filipino community.

"He loved to socialise and sing, especially taking part in karaoke. They also said how important his job was to him as he loved his work.

“He will be greatly missed by his wife Agnes and two children.”