A ‘dedicated and always happy to help’ orthopaedic surgeon and a ‘passionate and hardworking’ nurse are among five of the latest healthcare workers to die of coronavirus.
Sadeq Elhowsh, 58, described by his colleagues as ‘a much-loved member of the team’, worked at St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust in Merseyside as a surgeon for 17 years before he died at Whiston Hospital.
In a tribute to the surgeon, who died in the hospital he worked at, the father-of-four’s family said: ‘Sadeq was a wonderful husband as well as a devoted father and he dearly loved his family.
Sadeq Elhowsh, 58, an orthopaedic surgeon who worked at St Helens and Knowley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, died from coronavirus. Pictured with his sons
‘We cannot put into words the depth of our loss. He loved his work and was dedicated to supporting his patients and his colleagues.’
Ravi Gudena, Mr Elhowsh’s colleague and a consultant orthopaedic surgeon, said: ‘Nothing was ever too much trouble for Sadeq, he was always there to help anyone and was happy to do whatever was needed to help his colleagues and patients.’
Hospital chief executive Ann Marr OBE added: ‘Sadeq will be sadly missed by all who knew and worked with him. He was without doubt a much-loved member of the team.’
Josephine Peter, a nurse at Southport and Formby District General Hospital, has been described as a ‘heroine’ by her devastated husband after she died from the virus on Saturday, April 18.
Josephine Peter, a nurse at Southport and Formby District General Hospital, leaves behind her husband Thabo, her two children Bongani and Buhle and a granddaughter
According to a GoFundMe page set up to honour Mrs Peter, who worked as a nurse for 20 years, she leaves behind her husband Thabo, her two children Bongani and Buhle who live in South Africa and a granddaughter.
She was raised in Johannesburg, South Africa during Apartheid where, according to the fundraising page, she was ‘whipped and humiliated by the then white ruling party’ but she never let it break her spirit.
The fundraiser, which has raised more than £3,000 so far, said she graduated as a professional nurse at University of Fort Hare and Cecilia Makiwane Hospital, South Africa, in 1998 before moving to the UK in 2002.
She had been working at Southport hospital since February on an agency contract until she fell ill in early April.
James Lock, chief executive of Altrix, the nursing agency that employed her, said: ‘Josephine was a diligent nurse who was highly regarded and liked by the team.
‘She would always go that extra mile and was a pleasure to work with. My team and I send our very best wishes and deepest condolences to Josephine’s family.”
Liz Shale, 61, an NHS administration worker from Leeds died two days after she was rushed to hospital
Liz Shale, a 61-year-old NHS administration worker from Leeds, died just two days after being rushed to hospital on Tuesday, April 7.
Her family, who described her as ‘loving and crazy’ have pleaded with people to ‘take this virus seriously’ after they were unable to visit and say goodbye to her before she died at St James’s University Hospital and will have to watch her funeral via video link due to new restrictions.
The grandmother-of-eight worked for the NHS for more than 20 years and spent the last decade working in palliative care in Bradford.
Her son, Danny, said: ‘She was funny, loving and crazy, she would do owt for a laugh. She was definitely a character.
‘She was always cracking jokes to make them all laugh and keep them motivated.
‘She knew she had to keep going to work when this started and started working from home the week before everyone was told to but even though she had been staying at home, she still got it.’
He added: ‘Our life will never be the same again. My mum won’t get to see my children grow up all because of this virus. How people don’t realise the impact this has?
‘Basically, she’s now just seen as another number – a statistic – and it shouldn’t be that way. People should know who she was, not see her as another person who died.’
Another victim, Kirsty Jones, 41, had been working as a healthcare assistant and recently taken up a position in one of Lanarkshire’s Assessment Centres, based in Airdrie Health Centre, to help in the frontline response against the pandemic.
Kirsty Jones, 41, was working at an assessment centre helping in the frontline response. She leaves behind her husband Nigel and two sons, Sam age 14 and Finley, four
Her death sees her leave behind her husband Nigel, and two sons, Sam aged 14 and Finlay, four.
Mr Jones said: ‘Kirsty devoted her life to caring for others. She was larger than life itself and was a constant source of happiness for all who were around her.
‘Kirsty will be greatly missed by all who knew her. A void has opened in our hearts that will never be filled.’
Tributes have also been paid to Khulisani Nkala, a mental health nurse who died on Friday.
Khulisani Nkala, 46, worked as a mental health nurse for the Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and died from the virus on Friday
The 46-year-old was the first staff member at Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust to died from the virus.
Dr Sara Munro, chief executive of the trust, said: ‘Khuli was a well-respected and selfless professional nurse who ‘always put the patient first’ and will be greatly missed by his colleagues.’
Yesterday it was announced Manjeet Riyat, a ‘widely respected’ doctor, who became the first Sikh to work as an A&E consultant in Britain, was one of the latest NHS victims of the pandemic.
The 52-year-old was described by colleagues at the Royal Derby Hospital as the ‘father of the emergency department.’
Manjeet Riyat died at the Royal Derby Hospital on Monday (University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Trust/PA)
The married father-of-two, who previously worked at Leicester Royal Infirmary and Lincoln County Hospital, has been described as ‘instrumental’ in building the emergency medicine service in Derbyshire over the past 20 years.
He died on Monday at Royal Derby Hospital, the University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Trust said.
Married father-of-two Craig Wakeham, a doctor at the Cerne Abbas surgery in Dorset for three decades, died from coronavirus at the weekend, it emerged yesterday.
Married father-of-two Craig Wakeham, a doctor at the Cerne Abbas surgery in Dorset for three decades, died from coronavirus at the weekend, it emerged today
His colleagues at the surgery said: ‘His industry and innovation led our practice for 30 years.
‘He was also a leading light in both the Clinical Commissioning Group and Local Medical Committee, as well as a devoted husband a father to his two boys.
‘His legacy lives on in our patients who he cared for diligently, and in the good name he built for our surgery.’
Mr Rajit also acted as an emergency medicine tutor at Derby College where he oversaw the education of junior doctors.
His death marks the second at the trust, after Dr Amged El-Hawrani, an ear, nose and throat consultant at Queen’s Hospital Burton, became the first frontline hospital doctor to die in the pandemic.
Dr Amged El-Hawrani became the UK’s first front-line hospital doctor to die from coronavirus following warnings that a lack of protective equipment would cost medical staff lives
The number of health and social care workers to have died of coronavirus is believed to have surpassed 100 in the UK.
Doctors, nurses, care home workers and allied healthcare professionals have all been lost in Britain’s fight against COVID-19.
The Government has only confirmed the death of 27 NHS workers, but nursing platform NursingNotes says the number now stands at 106 this morning.
Its records show Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) people accounted for 75 per cent of healthcare workers deaths, despite them only being 20 per cent of the workforce.
Speaking to Sky News, the cousin of Mr Riyat said: ‘He was a mountain of a man. He was my brother basically, if there’s one man I’m going to miss the most it’s him.
‘He was the most generous man you could meet – the kindest man you could meet, with a great sense of humour.’
Also paying tribute to Mr Riyat, trust chief executive Gavin Boyle said: ‘Mr Riyat, known to his colleagues as Manjeet, was a widely respected consultant in emergency medicine nationally.
‘Manjeet was the first A&E consultant from the Sikh community in the country and was instrumental in building the emergency medicine service in Derbyshire over the past two decades.
‘He was an incredibly charming person and well-loved. Manjeet knew so many people here across the hospital; we will all miss him immensely.
‘On behalf of everyone here at UHDB, including our patients and the communities we serve, I would like to offer our sincere condolences to his family.’
In a tribute on behalf of the hospital’s emergency department team, emergency medicine consultant Susie Hewitt said: ‘Manjeet was one of the first clinical research fellows in the UK and contributed to the birth of academic emergency medicine.
‘Despite his many achievements, Manjeet was most at home as a highly visible ‘shop floor’ emergency medicine consultant.
‘He was consistently generous with his remarkable clinical knowledge to everyone in the team.
Gerallt Davies, 51, is the first paramedic in Wales to die after suffering COVID-19
‘He had that rare gift of maintaining constant joy in the intellectual challenge of clinical medicine, combined with gentle kindness and compassion for his patients.
‘He was a powerful advocate for the sickest patients and was well known for his fair, no-nonsense approach.
‘By contrast, Manjeet could be relied upon to lift the mood with his dry humour and sense of fun.
‘Manjeet was enormously valued and much loved as a colleague, supervisor and mentor, as well as for his wise council and discreet support in tough times.
‘For many, Manjeet was considered the father of the current emergency department in Derby and many more will reflect on how his inspiration has shaped their own careers.
‘Finally, Manjeet was fiercely proud of his wife and two sons and often shared the achievements and exploits of the boys with equal good humour. He always kept sight of what is really important in life and set an example by living life in keeping with his high standards and strong values. He will be hugely missed.’
Mr Riyat qualified from the University of Leicester in 1992 and went on to train in Emergency Medicine at Leicester Royal Infirmary and Lincoln County Hospital.
During this time he acted as team leader for the Accident Flying Squads at both hospitals. Manjeet was also one of the first Clinical Research Fellows in the UK and contributed to the birth of academic Emergency Medicine.
In 2003, Manjeet became one of four Consultants in Emergency Medicine at the Derbyshire Royal Infirmary and was the first person from the Sikh community to be appointed as an Emergency Medicine Consultant in the UK.
The first consultants in A&E medicine were introduced in the late 70s, and throughout the 80s and 90s their numbers increased significantly.
Mr Riyat became Head of Service for the Emergency Department in 2006 and made particular contributions to clinical governance and patient safety.
Trust chairwoman Dr Kathy McLean said: ‘Mr Manjeet Riyat made a huge contribution to the NHS in Derbyshire and across the field of emergency medicine nationally.
‘I had known Manjeet from when he first joined the trust in the early 2000s and he very quickly made an impact with his focus on patient care and high standards.
‘It was clear that he was an outstanding emergency medicine doctor and generations of families in this region have benefited from the care he provided.
‘I met him again shortly after returning to the trust as chair and was greeted with a big hug. This is a terribly sad day for all of those who had the pleasure to have known him and to have worked alongside him.’
Ms Tapley’s heartbroken granddaughter said her grandmother was like ‘an additional parent’
As of Monday, a total of 16,509 people diagnosed with Covid-19 have died in the UK.
Meanwhile, Gerallt Davies, 51, is the first paramedic in Wales to die after suffering COVID-19.
He had been awarded an MBE in 2009 for his work as a national operations officer for St John Cymru Wales.
He was based at Cwmbwrla Station in Swansea and had worked for the ambulance service for 26 years.
Mr Davies’ death was described as ‘a devastating blow’ for his colleagues.
Yesterday it emerged two older health workers still caring for patients into their 70s and 80s have both died on the same day of coronavirus.
Ms Tapley’s granddaughter Hannah Tapley, a champion high jumper who has competed for team GB, said her grandmother would text and call her everyday
Great-grandmother Margaret Tapley was working as an auxiliary nurse at the age of 84 and hailed as ‘a legend on the ward’.
Sophie Fagan, 78, had served the NHS for more than five decades, starting as a nurse before becoming a hospital care co-ordinator.
Both were helping patients well past retirement age before passing away on Sunday.
Mrs Tapley had continued her night shifts at Witney Community Hospital in Oxfordshire and worked the last one of her 40-year career on April 10.
Mrs Fagan began nursing in 1966 and had been working since 2000 as a care co-ordinator at Homerton Hospital in East London
Her family said she had been suffering symptoms before being admitted to the Great Western Hospital in Swindon three days before her death.
Her grandson Tom Wood, a senior A&E nurse, said she inspired him to go into healthcare.
‘She took huge pride in her work but was so humble,’ he added. ‘She embodied the nursing spirit. I struggle with one or two night shifts but grandma routinely did three a week.’
Mrs Tapley’s granddaughter Hannah Tapley said: ‘She was the most hard-working, caring and perfect woman. Devoting her life to others and working for the NHS doing night shifts at her age.’
Sophie Fagan, front row second left, arrived from India in 1961 to begin her nurse training. She has died aged 78 after contracting coronavirus. Picture: Homerton Hospital
Stuart Bell, chief executive at Oxford Health trust, said: ‘She was a legend on the ward and throughout the whole hospital.’
Mrs Fagan began nursing in 1966 and had been working since 2000 as a care co-ordinator at Homerton Hospital in East London, where she died.
Tracey Fletcher, trust chief executive, said: ‘Sophie wanted to make a difference and caring for the elderly was her passion.
Homerton Hospital nurse Michael Allieu, who has died after contracting coronavirus
Other healthcare workers to have died from coronavirus include Joanna Klenczon (left) a 34-year-old domestic supervisor who worked at the Northampton General Hospital (NGH) for 10 years and occupational therapist Vivek Sharma who died on Friday
‘Her taste for the brightest and most colourful jumpers, her elegance and her ability to talk to anyone made her stand out.’
Daughter-in-law Deni Fagan said she was dedicated to her son John and grandson Jack, 16.
She described Mrs Fagan as ‘a fit and healthy lady who just loved life, nothing would have stopped her from working.
‘She just refused to give up her job….despite her age. It goes to show what kind of lady she was. We are really very proud of her.’
Acute care nurse Michael Allieu, 53, became the second worker at the Homerton to die from the virus over the weekend.