Schaumburg stabbing victim remembered as caring nurse at St. Alexius

  • Margaret Daniel, pictured at a colleague's retirement party in 2017 at AMITA Health St. Alexius Medical Center in Hoffman Estates, is being remembered by co-workers as an upbeat nurse who was gentle with patients.

    Margaret Daniel, pictured at a colleague's retirement party in 2017 at AMITA Health St. Alexius Medical Center in Hoffman Estates, is being remembered by co-workers as an upbeat nurse who was gentle with patients. Courtesy of Katherin Aoki

 
 
Updated 11/26/2019 6:36 PM

Doctors and nurses at AMITA Health St. Alexius Medical Center in Hoffman Estates are mourning the loss of Margaret Daniel, a co-worker they considered a family member.

Daniel, 48, was stabbed to death Saturday in her Schaumburg home. A nurse anesthetist at the hospital for 12 years, she was described by co-workers as being upbeat, gentle and respectful while caring for patients.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"She approached every patient and every scenario with a smile on her face and with an attitude of, 'How can I help here in this situation?'" said Dr. Maribel Goll, an anesthesiologist who worked often with Daniel. "She really had a very strong calling for being a nurse and caring for the patients, putting them at ease and really being very empathetic for the situation in which so many patients find themselves in."

Daniel was a Polish immigrant who spent her career in nursing, starting as a CNA in Niles and then as a critical care nurse at hospitals in Evanston and Maywood. She earned her master's degree at Rush University in 2007, according to her LinkedIn profile, the same year she was hired at St. Alexius, where she worked in the anesthesiology and operating departments.

Goll said news of Daniel's death has hit the tight-knit group of co-workers especially hard.

"I was just incredulous and could not believe that it happened to our Margaret," Goll said. "You know, sometimes in the field that we're in, we spend more time together in the hospital than we do with our families, especially at St. Alexius ... we consider it our own little family.

"To hear details has been very difficult because I cannot fathom that such a gentle person -- what a wonderful person -- her last moments were spent in a moment of terror."

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Prosecutors said Daniel was stabbed 20 to 30 times early Saturday by her boyfriend, 55-year-old Anthony Prate, during an argument that followed a dinner party at her house. Prate, an Algonquin eye doctor, was ordered held without bond Monday on a charge of first-degree murder.

To support Daniel's two young daughters, Goll said, co-workers at the hospital decided to start a GoFundMe online fundraiser to cover funeral expenses. In one day, the fundraiser surpassed its $25,000 goal with donations from co-workers, friends and neighbors. The fundraiser can be found at www.gofundme.com/f/in-memory-of-our-angel-margaret-daniel.

Visitation is scheduled from 3 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 3, at Michaels Funeral Home, 800 S. Roselle Road in Schaumburg. The funeral will begin at 9:15 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 4, at the funeral home before a 10 a.m. Mass at St. Matthew Catholic Church, 1001 E. Schaumburg Road in Schaumburg. Interment will follow at St. Michael the Archangel Cemetery in Palatine.

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