Coronavirus: Nurse Areema Nasreen dies with Covid-19

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Walsall Manor HospitalImage source, Google
Image caption,
Areema Nasreen worked at Walsall Manor Hospital

A nurse with coronavirus has died after spending weeks in intensive care.

Areema Nasreen, 36, had been placed on a ventilator at Walsall Manor Hospital where she worked in the acute medical unit.

Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust's chief executive Richard Beeken said she was a "very respected member of the team".

Another nurse Aimee O'Rourke, who worked at the Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother Hospital in Margate, Kent, has also died after contracting the virus.

The "highly talented" nurse died at the hospital where she worked on Thurday night after testing positive for Covid-19.

"Heartbroken" colleagues and relatives have paid tribute to Ms O'Rourke, who was also a mother-of-three.

'Risking their lives'

Mr Beeken said Ms Nasreen, who died in the early hours of Friday, had "always dreamed of being a nurse", and her family said she had been considered fit and healthy before she contracted the virus.

"Any death is devastating but losing one of our own is beyond words," Mr Beeken said.

The trust described Ms Nasreen as a professional, passionate nurse who started out as a housekeeper in 2003, before working to gain her nursing qualification in January 2019.

"She was a very, very, respected and valued member of the team on the acute medical unit and they are absolutely distraught," Mr Beeken said.

"Her dedication to her role and her popularity amongst her colleagues is obvious to see with the outpouring of grief.

"She always said that she was so blessed to have the role of a nurse which she absolutely loved because she wanted to feel like she could make a difference - and you did, Areema, you will be very sadly missed."

Image caption,
Richard Beeken said Ms Nasreen "absolutely loved" being a nurse

West Midlands Mayor Andy Street tweeted: "Such tragic news this morning, my heart goes out to Areema's family and three children.

"Frontline workers across the West Midlands are risking their lives day after day to protect us, the least we can do to help them is follow government advice."

Dr Samara Afzal, a GP in Birmingham who knew Ms Nasreen, told BBC Asian Network it was "absolutely devastating news for the family".

"They [the family] are still coming to terms [with her death]. It's heartbreaking for the children who didn't get to see her, because of the circumstances and the nature of Covid.

"She was very bubbly, full of life. She was a fantastic role model to Asian women, she married young and had children but then wanted to pursue her dream in nursing, became a nurse and absolutely loved her job, she was completely dedicated to it, she'd go out of her way to help people."

Dame Donna Kinnair, chief executive of the Royal College of Nursing, said: "We know that Areema has given her life in terms of looking after patients, my sympathies go out to [her] entire family."

Commenting on the death of Ms Nasreen, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: "I pay tribute to the NHS staff who've died serving the NHS, serving the nation.

"It shows the incredible bravery of every member of the NHS who goes into work knowing that these dangers are there."

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