A ‘devoted and exceptional nurse’ and a ‘dearly loved and dedicated doctor’ are among six of the latest health and social care workers to die from coronavirus.
The number of medical staff and carers to succumb to Covid-19 in the UK is now thought to be 106, according to nursing platform NursingNotes, although the Government has only confirmed 27 NHS workers’ deaths. Among the latest fatalities is father-of-four Sadeq Elhowsh, a top orthopaedic surgeon at Whiston Hospital in Merseyside.
In just 10 hours £27,500 was raised for his family to support his eldest son who has just been accepted into medical school. Bosses at his hospital said Mr Elhowsh, 58, was ‘dearly loved by all of his close colleagues and well respected by his patients’ over his 17 years with St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust.
In a statement following, his family said: ‘Sadeq was a wonderful husband, as well as a devoted father, and he dearly loved his family. We cannot put into words the depth of our loss. He loved his work and was dedicated to supporting his patients and his colleagues.
‘As a family we are extremely appreciative for all the kind words and messages we have received. We would like to take this time to grieve in private.’
Colleagues say Mr Elhowsh had been fighting for his life on a ventilator for weeks before dying yesterday.
Mother-of-two Kirsty Jones, 41, also died yesterday after contracting coronavirus. She taken up a job with NHS Lanarkshire straight after finishing school at 17 and spent much of her career working with elderly patients at University Hospital Wishaw, where she was loved for her ‘bubbly character’.
She had recently taken up a position at one of Lanarkshire’s assessment centres to help the frontline response to the pandemic.
Bellshill locality district nurse team leader Allison Campbell said: ‘Kirsty had joined our team from over two decades working in a hospital setting so there was some adjustment to working in the community.
‘But she made that transition effortlessly, with a smile on her face. Her focus was always on providing care for patients and that’s what drove her.’
Her husband, Nigel, said: ‘Kirsty devoted her life to caring for others. She was a wonderful wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend and nurse.
‘Kirsty was larger than life itself and was a constant source of happiness for all who were around her.
‘She was so proud of her two sons, Sam, 14, and Finlay, four, and loved them both very, very much.
‘Kirsty will be greatly missed by all who knew her. A void has opened in our hearts that will never be filled.”
‘We will miss you every day, Kirsty, but be sure that we will carry all the wonderful memories we made together forever in our hearts. We will never forget you, you really were so special to us all and we will love you forever.’
Colleagues have paid tribute to the ‘charming and much loved’ Manjeet Singh Riyat, 52, who died yesterday at the Royal Derby Hospital , where he worked as an emergency medicine consultant.
Chief executive of the University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Foundation Trust 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.’
Mr Riyay’s ‘passion for teaching’ saw him work as a Derby College tutor for emergency medicine, where he oversaw the training of junior doctors from multiple specialties in the emergency department.
He also spent 17 years serving as an educational supervisor to dozens of regional emergency medicine trainees and was appointed as an examiner for the Royal College of Emergency Medicine in 2007.
Fellow emergency consultant Susie Hewitt said: ‘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.
‘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.’
Loving tributes have been paid to ‘kind, caring and thoughtful’ care assistant Juliet Alder, who is the first member of staff from the West London Mental Health Trust to die of Covid-19.
She died on Tuesday, April 14, aged 58 and her colleagues have launched a fundraiser in her memory.
Ms Alder started working at the trust in 2016 as a healthcare assistant before moving to the Hammersmith and Fulham Mental Health Unit where she supported older people in the last weeks of their life.
Describing her as a ‘kind, caring and thoughtful colleague’, the care assistant’s colleagues added: ‘She was compassionate to patients, colleagues and carers and maternal towards those who came in contact with her.
‘Juliet had a beaming smile and infectious laughter, and took great pride in looking after others. She’ll be missed by all.’
The trust is now aiming to raise £500 for Ms Alder’s family to show their appreciation for her hard work and dedication to the NHS. Ms Alder is survived by her husband and daughter.
Described by her husband as an ‘exceptional woman’, nurse Julie Penfold was a taken in as patient at the Wirral’s Arrowe Park Hospital when she died.
She had been on a career break due to health issues for about 18 months before she passed away, a spokesman for the Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Trust said.
Mrs Penfold, known as Jules, had fostered more than 20 children and also had two daughters, a son, an adopted daughter, two step-daughters and 11 grandchildren, as well as a son and daughter who died.
She and her husband would have celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary this year. Her husband Nick said: ‘She loved her job. When she was at school, all she ever talked about was being a nurse.
‘She was lovely and never had a bad word to say about anybody and nothing was too much trouble for her. She was always checking on other people and looked after everyone.
‘As a mentor she loved training the younger ones and supported a lot of doctors. She was really well-loved. I was really proud of her. She was an exceptional woman.’
She had joined the trust as a health care assistant at Arrowe Park in 2003, and trained to become a nurse before moving to Wirral Community Trust for three years.
Mrs Penfold later returned to the hospital and was also a mentor to trainee nurses and doctors.
A book of condolence is being set up in the chapel at Arrowe Park Hospital and a minute’s silence is being planned in her memory.
Colleagues were ‘absolutely devastated’ at the passing of Grant Maganga, 56, who cared for men with severe mental illness at Hurst Place, a rehabilitation unit at Tameside Hospital, Ashton-Under-Lyne.
Mr Maganga, thought to be orginally from Malawi in south east Africa, qualified as a mental health nurse in 2009 and had worked at Hurst Place since it opened 10 years ago.
Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust chief executive Claire Molloy said: ‘We are absolutely devastated by the news and our hearts truly go out to Grant’s family and everyone who knew him.
‘Grant was an incredibly popular, greatly respected and dedicated nurse who was clearly so very caring with all his patients.
‘The nature of Hurst Place means that staff spend a lot of time with patients, sometimes over many years, and the patients spoke about the countless times where Grant went above and beyond to care for them.
‘His colleagues have also described his great kindness and friendliness, and say that he never had a bad word to say about anyone.
Director of nursing Clare Parker said: ‘Grant was an exceptional nurse who cared deeply for his patients and lit up the room with his infectious smile and positive personality.
‘Our hearts are with his family and all those who loved him.’
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