Tatiana Brandao, 30, and Raquel Moreira, 28, were on vacation in the U.S. visiting the Grand Canyon when they were involved in a fatal car accident. Both worked for the National Health Service in the U.K. and their friends and family say they will be sorely missed.
The two became close friends while working together at University Hospital Southampton (UHS) Hampshire. They drove across the Arizona desert to see the natural wonder in person but ended up colliding with a bus on the highway that serves as the only entrance to the southern rim of the canyon.
Gail Byrne, the chief nurse officer at UHS paid tribute to the women over the weekend. “The entire nursing family at University Hospital Southampton has been left shocked and saddened by the tragic deaths of two much-loved colleagues as they enjoyed a holiday together in America,” she said.
The pair planned the vacation amid the ongoing nursing shortage. Thousands of providers in the country are facing dangerous working conditions as the NHS tries to fill a record number of vacancies.
“The friends were well-known for their kindness, empathy and enthusiasm,” Byrne said of the two. “Both were passionate about nursing and providing the very best care for our patients. Outside of work they shared a love for new experiences, adventure and living life to the fullest.”
Brandao first joined the hospital back in 2016. She went on to become a “highly respected member of the neurology department,” Byrne added.
Moreira signed onto the facility two years later as a member of the stroke advanced clinical practice (ACP) team.
“I know I speak on behalf of the entire UHS workforce in saying they will be sorely missed. We send our love and condolences to their families at this very sad time,” Byrne concluded.
Both women were found dead at the scene. Moreira’s mother-in-law and partner were also traveling with the group. They were both taken to the nearest hospital and treated for serious injuries.
A few days before the accident, the two uploaded videos of their trip to social media with montages showing them visiting Universal Studios in Hollywood, California. It was meant to be the vacation of a lifetime, but it ended in tragedy.
“I hope Southampton has caught your heart as much as mine,” Moreira in an earlier post on social media that showed her traveling with the NHS at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.