Coronavirus: 'Talented' nursing assistant Ruben Munoz dies

Ruben Munoz Image copyright Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust
Image caption Father-of-two Ruben Munoz died on Friday

A "highly respected and talented" nursing assistant has died after contracting coronavirus.

Ruben Munoz, 49, a father of two and healthcare worker at Surrey and Sussex NHS Trust (SASH), died on Friday.

He worked on the Woodland Ward at East Surrey Hospital in Redhill and had been with the NHS since 2010.

His family said he would be remembered as a "beloved husband and amazing father", who was "so proud of his NHS and Woodland Ward family".

Michael Wilson, chief executive of SASH, said: "Ruben was a highly respected and talented nursing assistant who showed enormous dedication to caring for his patients every time he walked through our doors.

"He was also a much-loved friend to so many people across our hospital and our team are incredibly saddened by his passing."

Mr Munoz's friend and colleague, Stephanie Padrilla-Madriaga, said it was "devastating" to hear the news of his death and the ward "will never be the same without his presence".

She described him as "a gem to the ward and a star to our patients".

Image copyright Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust
Image caption Colleagues said Ruben Munoz always "brightened up the room"

Ms Padrilla-Madriaga said: "When he's on shift it will always be a pizza day which most of the staff look forward to at the end of a 12.5 hour shift.

"He brightens up the room when he is around. Patients remember him mostly because he was funny and witty."

An appeal set up by his colleagues to raise funds to assist his family has raised more than £16,000 in fewer than 24 hours, exceeding the £10,000 target.

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