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The ten immigrant NHS doctors who have died fighting coronavirus

A dedicated GP who ‘felt it was his duty to help’ people has died aged 76 after testing positive for coronavirus, after he decided to step out of retirement so he could continue caring for his patients.  

Fayaz Ayache was taken by ambulance to Ipswich Hospital on April 2 and passed away six days later. Dr Ayache had worked for the NHS for more than 40 years and helped raise funds for refugee charities to help people in his birth country of Syria. 

Dr Ayache is the tenth immigrant doctor to die during the pandemic, prompting Health Secretary Matt Hancock to say in a moving tribute: ‘They came to this country to make a difference and they did. They made the ultimate sacrifice’.  

The doctors, who were from Bangladesh, Egypt, India, Nigeria, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Syria and Sudan, will be among those clapped at 8pm tonight in another tribute to the sacrifices of NHS staff.  

Mr Hancock, the Health Secretary, thanked all NHS staff for their dedication in fighting the pandemic, before turning to commemorate those who had made the ultimate sacrifice. 

He said: ‘Many of those who have died who are from the NHS were people who came to this country to make a difference, and they did, and they’ve given their lives in sacrifice, and we salute them.’ 

As Britain suffered another 887 more coronavirus deaths today, these are the fallen heroes who came from overseas to care for our loved ones. 

Rural village GP, 76, who came out of retirement to serve his patients 

Fayaz Ayache died six days after being taken to Ipswich Hospital by ambulance

Fayaz Ayache died six days after being taken to Ipswich Hospital by ambulance.  

The grandfather, who lived in Raydon in Suffolk and was born in Syria, had been diagnosed with bilateral pneumonia and coronavirus.

His eldest daughter Layla Ayache, 35, said her father retired around two years ago but his retirement was short-lived.

She said he was back working ‘a couple of days a week’ as a GP with North Clacton Medical Group soon after as he wanted to help people. He also ran an ear, nose and throat clinic at Ipswich Hospital.

Dr Ayache had stopped working about three and a half weeks ago due to the risk of coronavirus, his daughter said.

She said she did not know where he had contracted the virus, but believed he may still have been seeing people to give medical advice.

‘My dad was very, very commonly phoned and people would say ‘my daughter’s ill’ or ‘my son’s ill’ or ‘my husband’s ill’,’ she said. ‘He would often pop round and just check people were OK.

‘He was a rural village GP at heart and that’s the sort of thing that he would do.

‘I wholeheartedly believe that if someone had called him with a concern he would have gone over and checked they were OK, because that’s what he wanted to do for everybody.

‘His entire life was split between his family and his work. That was all he lived for really, was those two things. He was the most dedicated GP that I’ve ever met.’ 

Urologist, 53, who warned Boris Johnson about ‘urgent’ need for more protective equipment for NHS workers 

Dr Abdul Mabud Chowdhury, passed away in hospital after a 15-day battle against the virus. 

Just three weeks ago, he wrote to the Prime Minister, asking him to ‘urgently’ ensure PPE was available for ‘each and every NHS worker in the UK’.

The doctor, known to friends and family as Faisal, worked as a consultant urologist in east London and leaves behind a wife, with whom he only recently celebrated a 25th wedding anniversary, and two children.

Dr Abdul Mabud Chowdhury, 53, pictured left, passed away in hospital after a 15-day battle against the virus

Dr Abdul Mabud Chowdhury, 53, pictured left, passed away in hospital after a 15-day battle against the virus

He died at 1am this morning at Queens Hospital in Romford, according to his brother, who wrote: ‘I ask you humbly my dear brothers and sisters to please keep my brother in your prayers.’ 

The Muslim Doctors Association paid tribute to him in a statement, which reads: ‘We are deeply saddened by the death of Dr Abdul Mabud Chowdhury, Consultant Urologist at Homerton Hospital, after fighting for his life from Covid-19.

‘He leaves behind his wife and two children. Our thoughts and prayers are with them.

‘Two weeks before his admission to hospital he wrote a message to the Prime Minister urging for better PPE. May he rest in peace.’

In his letter to the PM, Dr Chowdhury, who was born in Bangladesh, wrote: ‘Please ensure urgently PPE for each and every NHS health worker in the UK. 

The doctor, pictured with his wife, worked as a Consultant Urologist at Homerton Hospital in east London

The doctor, pictured with his wife, worked as a Consultant Urologist at Homerton Hospital in east London

‘Living legend’, 68, who came back from retirement to care for coronavirus patients 

Dr Alfa Saadu was described by his family as a ‘passionate’ physician who had come out of retirement to help fight the coronavirus pandemic in Britain.

The 68-year-old doctor, who died on March 31 after fighting the virus for two weeks, had been working at Queen Victoria Memorial Hospital in Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire.

His son Dani told HuffPost UK: ‘He was a very passionate man, who cared about saving people. As soon you spoke to him about medicine his face would light up.

‘He worked for the NHS for nearly 40 years in different hospitals across London. He loved to lecture people in the world of medicine – he did so in the UK and Africa.’

He also described his father as a ‘massive family man’, adding that he leaves behind two sons and a wife who is also a retired doctor, in occupational health.

Dr Saadu had been working at Queen Victoria Memorial Hospital in Welwyn, Hertfordshire

Dr Saadu had been working at Queen Victoria Memorial Hospital in Welwyn, Hertfordshire

Dr Saadu, who was originally from Nigeria, was a former clinical director of the care of the elderly department at West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust.

He was also medical director of Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow, Essex, and medical director and consultant physician at Ealing Hospital in West London.

Lance McCarthy, chief executive of The Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust, said: ‘Alfa was well-known at the trust for his passion for ensuring our patients received high quality care.

‘He was a committed member of the team and is remembered fondly by many. His family and friends are in our thoughts at this sad time.’

‘Highly respected, selfless’ GP who came to Britain in the 1970s

Dr Habib Zaidi worked as a GP at Eastwood Group Practice in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex

Dr Habib Zaidi worked as a GP at Eastwood Group Practice in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex

Dr Habib Zaidi’s grieving family said the GP ‘sacrificed’ his life to take care of his patients.

He became ill on March 24 and died just 24 hours later in hospital. Test results for Covid-19 came back positive yesteday – and his daughter Sarah, a GP at his practice in Essex, had earlier said he had ‘textbook symptoms’.

Dr Zaidi, who came to the UK from Pakistan in the early 1970s and worked at Eastwood Group Practice in Leigh-on-Sea, had been self-isolating for a week before he became ill.

His death raised concerns among the medical community about being exposed to the deadly virus without sufficient protective equipment.

Dr Zaidi’s family said: ‘For him to be snatched away from us in this way, in these desperately troubling times for the whole world, has left us truly heartbroken.

‘But we are overwhelmed, touched and comforted by the many kind tributes and love we have received. The name Habib means beloved and beloved he truly was.

‘We know that not only has he left a gaping hole in our hearts but a loss that is also felt within the community that he devoted almost his entire life to.’

His daughter Sarah told the BBC: ‘For that to be the thing that took him is too much to bear. It is reflective of his sacrifice.’

Dr Jose Garcia-Lobera, GP chair at Southend Clinical Commissioning Group, said he was a ‘hugely respected, selfless man who dedicated his life to helping others’.

He added: ‘Dr Zaidi will always be remembered for his significant contribution to local health services through his long career as a GP. 

‘Deeply committed and hard working’ Ear, nose and throat surgeon who became the UK’s first front-line doctor to die

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 ‘dedicated’ consulant, who was an ear, nose and throat specialist at Queen’s Hospital in Burton, was known for being ‘extremely hard-working’ and deeply committed to his patients.

He died on March 28 at the Glenfield Hospital in Leicester – the first UK death of a full-time hospital doctor from the virus since the crisis began.

Mr El-Hawrani was primarily an ear, nose and throat consultant and surgeon but before he became unwell, he had also been volunteering in A&E

Mr El-Hawrani was primarily an ear, nose and throat consultant and surgeon but before he became unwell, he had also been volunteering in A&E

Mr El-Hawrani was born in Sudan and served primarily an ear, nose and throat consultant and surgeon but before he became unwell, he had also been volunteering in A&E.

His family said they were devastated but ‘immensely proud’, and staff at his hospital said they were ‘desperately saddened’.

But the British Medical Association warned that his death would reverberate amongst NHS staff, who are becoming increasingly concerned over the lack of protective equipment.

Last week the trade union claimed lives would be lost because the clothing and masks were being rationed by hospitals, with doctors forced to source their own.

Mr El-Hawrani was known for being 'extremely hard-working' and dedicated to his patients

Mr El-Hawrani was known for being ‘extremely hard-working’ and dedicated to his patients

The consultant was known for being ‘extremely hard-working’ and dedicated to his patients, and was well-liked by his colleagues across the board.

Outside work he took part in a trek across the Himalayas several years ago to raise money for the trust.

He was also closely involved in the merger of the Derby and Burton hospitals in 2018 and provided regular support for doctors outside of his own department.

His family issued a statement which read: ‘Amged was a loving and much-loved husband, son, father, brother, and friend.

‘His greatest passions were his family and his profession, and he dedicated his life to both. He was the rock of our family, incredibly strong, compassionate, caring and giving.

‘Losing Amged is devastating for our family. Life without him is impossible to imagine but together, we will do all we can to honour his memory and live how he would have wanted us to.’

Gavin Boyle, chief executive at University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS trust, said: ‘The whole UHDB family are desperately saddened at losing Amged who was such a valued and much loved colleague.’

Mr El-Hawrani is understood to have fallen ill several weeks ago and had been on intensive care for some time.

Colleague Sonia Maxim, a healthcare assistant, wrote on Facebook: ‘He was an amazing colleague and friend, he will be missed so, so much. My heart is broken.’

Transplant surgeon, 63, who ‘always had a willing smile’ and volunteered to work closely with coronavirus patients 

Mr Adil El Tayar, 63, an organ transplant consultant, developed symptoms after he volunteered to help treat patients

Mr Adil El Tayar, 63, an organ transplant consultant, developed symptoms after he volunteered to help treat patients

Mr Adil El Tayar, 63, an organ transplant consultant originally from Sudan, developed coronavirus symptoms after he volunteered to help treat patients at Hereford County Hospital.

His grieving family warned NHS staff were ‘sitting ducks’ and called for them to be given better protective kit and disease testing.

Cousin Dr Hisham El-Khider said he believed Dr El Tayar’s death was preventable, saying: ‘If we don’t improve protection for staff across the board then more of us will die.

‘The brunt of this disease is only going to get bigger and bigger, and more needs to be done.

‘If we don’t, there will be more doctors and nurses who fall seriously ill and are unable to treat patients who desperately require their care.’

Mr El Tayar, a father-of-four, self-isolated once he developed symptoms but had to be taken to hospital with breathing difficulties and died last Wednesday at the West Middlesex University Hospital in Isleworth, West London.

His cousin, BBC journalist Zeinab Badawi, said: ‘He’d wanted to be deployed where he would be most useful during the crisis.

‘That was typical of my cousin Adil, always willing to help, always with a willing smile.’

She added: ‘It had taken just 12 days for Adil to go from a seemingly fit and capable doctor working in a busy hospital to lying in a hospital morgue.’

Mr El Tayar, pictured with his family, self-isolated once he developed symptoms but had to be taken to hospital with breathing problems

Mr El Tayar, pictured with his family, self-isolated once he developed symptoms but had to be taken to hospital with breathing problems

‘Incredibly dedicated’ heart surgeon, 58, and father-of-two who was ‘well-liked and respected by everyone’ 

Jitendra Rathod, 58, was admitted to the University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff, earlier this month, before being taken to intensive care.

His colleagues battled to save Mr Rathod – known at Jitu – but he died on Monday morning. 

Mr Rathod, who was from India, had been working in the hospital since the 1990s.  

Jitendra Rathod, 58, was admitted to the University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff, where he first started working in the 1990s, but died from coronavirus yesterday

Jitendra Rathod, 58, was admitted to the University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff, where he first started working in the 1990s, but died from coronavirus yesterday

A statement by Cardiff and Vale University Health Board said: ‘It is with profound sadness that we must inform you that Mr Jitendra Rathod, associate specialist in cardiothoracic surgery, has passed away.

‘He died early this morning on our general intensive care unit after testing positive for Covid-19.’

The father-of-two was described as an ‘incredibly dedicated surgeon’ who cared deeply for his patients and was highly regarded in the medical profession in Wales.

A cardiothoracic surgeon is a specialist who operates on the heart, lungs and other thoracic (chest) organs.

‘He was well-liked and and greatly respected by one and all,’ the health board statement added.

‘He was very compassionate and a wonderful human being. His commitment to the speciality was exemplary. He is survived by his wife and two sons.’

Mr Rathod worked in the department of cardio-throacic surgery since the mid 1990s. He later had a brief stint abroad before returning to UHW in 2006. 

Consultant geriatrician who came back out of retirement to help his colleagues. 

Dr Anton Sebastianpillai, a consultant geriatrician, died on Saturday at Kingston Hospital in South West London after he was admitted to its intensive care unit on March 31.

In a statement, a spokesman for the hospital said Dr Anton had completed his last shift with the hospital on March 20.

Dr Anton Sebastianpillai, who was born in Sri Lanka, is the thirteenth frontline medic to die from the virus. So far in the UK there have been 6,159 deaths from the disease

Dr Anton Sebastianpillai, who was born in Sri Lanka, is the thirteenth frontline medic to die from the virus. So far in the UK there have been 6,159 deaths from the disease

‘It is with great sadness that I confirm the death of a consultant geriatrician who was part of the team. 

‘Dr Anton Sebastianpillai died on Saturday 4 April 2020 having been cared for in the hospital’s intensive care unit since March 31.

‘Dr Sebastianpillai completed his last shift with us on March 20 and we would like to extend our sincere condolences to his family.’ 

The Peradeniya Medical School Alumni Association of the United Kingdom said the doctor had retired from his career and had volunteered to work with Covid-19 patients.  

Consultant and honorary professor at Imperial College, 79, who left behind his wife and two daughters   

Professor Mohamed Sami Shousha died in a London hospital two weeks after falling ill with coronavirus.  

He had worked at UK cancer research laboratories since 1978 and was an honorary professor of histopathology at Imperial College London.   

His nephew, Abdelrahman Shousha, told The Sun: ‘He was very keen on going to work on his final days despite the health hazards.

Professor Mohamed Sami Shousha was from Egypt and had worked at UK cancer research laboratories since 1978 and was an honorary professor of histopathology at Imperial College London

Professor Mohamed Sami Shousha was from Egypt and had worked at UK cancer research laboratories since 1978 and was an honorary professor of histopathology at Imperial College London

‘However, most likely, his work did not involve direct contact with Covid-19 patients.

‘He had been hospitalised since March 23, after contracting the virus, before he succumbed to the illness on Thursday April 2. We will all miss him dearly.’

One of his former pupils, Dr Neha Tabassum, tweeted: ‘My prayers and thoughts are with his family. It’s so sad to hear this news, I am in tears!!

‘Professor Sami Shousha was one of my mentor. Without his support, my PhD would not have been possible. He was such an amazing human being.’ 

‘Selfless’ GP who was ‘driven by his passion for his profession

British-Pakistani GP Dr Syed Haider had been receiving treatment at Queen’s Hospital in Romford where he died.

A staff member at the Valence Medical Centre in Dagenham, east London – where Dr Haider worked – confirmed the tragic news. 

The News International, a Pakistani newspaper, spoke to his son, who described him as a ‘selfless man driven by his passion for his profession’. 

He added: ‘Even whilst in hospital breathing his last, he was urging doctors and nurses to pay attention to other patients rather than him.

‘Many at his age would have retired yet his dedication to his profession was immeasurable.’

No photograph has been made available of Dr Haider.   

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk