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Covid-19: Belfast Trust tribute to porter 'with heart of gold'

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image copyrightDoherty family

The Belfast Trust has paid tribute to health worker Tony Doherty, who died with Covid-19 on Tuesday morning.

Mr Doherty, who was in his early 50s and lived in Banbridge, was a porter at the Royal Victoria Hospital.

He was the third member of his family to die from the virus within the space of two weeks.

His mother Angela Doherty and father Owen Doherty, who lived in Belfast, passed away within three days of each other.

On Thursday, the Patient and Client Support Services team said they and staff across the trust were "deeply saddened" by Mr Doherty's passing.

'He was our friend'

In a statement, the team described Mr Doherty as "a larger than life figure with a heart of gold who made an instant and lasting impression on everyone he met".

"Tony was a valued member of our team, but more importantly, he was our friend," the statement read.

"We all shared many laughs and good times with Tony and we hope these memories can provide some comfort to everyone in the days and weeks ahead."

Mr Doherty's colleagues expressed condolences to his wife Deborah, his son Conor, and his wider family and friends.

'Unimaginable'

On Wednesday, SDLP MLA Dolores Kelly also offered condolences to the Doherty family.

"It is just unimaginable," she told BBC Radio Ulster's Evening Extra programme.

"I cannot begin to imagine how the surviving members of the family come to terms with it and I do hope and pray that they get the help and support that they need."

Mrs Kelly appealed to the executive to "take account of the families who are suffering, who have suffered, those that are in hospital and the staff who are trying their best to actually keep people safe and to save their lives".

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