A nurse and father-of-seven died alone at his home after he picked up coronavirus when treating a patient in London, his family have revealed.
Thomas Harvey, 57, worked for the NHS for more than 20 years at Goodmayes Hospital in east London and had to self-isolate after catching the virus.
Paramedics broke down his door after he stopped responding while isolated and he died later that day.
Mr Harvey is believed to have expressed concerns about the lack of protective equipment for NHS workers and told his wife that he was given a ‘flimsy apron and no mask’.
He is the fifth medic to die while fighting the coronavirus outbreak in the UK.
Thomas Harvey, 57, picked up coronavirus when treating a patient in London and has now died of the virus
Paramedics broke down his door after he stopped responding while isolated and he died later that day
His daughter says that Mr Harvey was ‘let down’ and his death could have been prevented, while adding that he was ‘fit and healthy with no underlying health conditions’.
Tamira Harvey told ITV News: ‘My dad was definitely let down.
‘I don’t feel that they’re [NHS staff] safe at the moment, I don’t think that they would think that they’re safe.
‘The Government could have prevented this.’
Mr Harvey’s friend and colleague Margaret Barron told the Sun: ‘Unfortunately after treating a Covid-19 patient on his ward, he contracted the virus and passed away suddenly after fighting for his life for nearly two weeks.
‘Thomas was a devoted member of the NHS for over 20 years and loved his job to the fullest.
‘He looked after all his patients to the best of his ability and was loved by many.
‘He was a cherished colleague, a husband, a father, a grandfather and a best friend.’
According to his family, Mr Harvey expressed concerns about the lack of protective equipment for NHS workers
His daughter says that Mr Harvey was ‘let down’ and his death could have been prevented
North East London NHS Foundation Trust chief executive Professor Oliver Shanley said: ‘It is with deep regret that we share with you that we have sadly lost a dear and valued colleague who had Covid-19.
‘Thomas was a longstanding dedicated member of our intermediate care team.
‘I would like to offer my sincere condolences to Thomas’s family, friends and work colleagues.
‘We are ensuring they are supported through this difficult time and I would like to thank colleagues for the professionalism and compassion they have shown.’
Mr Harvey’s death follows the deaths of four doctors on the frontline in the battle against coronavirus.
The number of people admitted to hospitals in England with coronavirus has soared in the past 10 days, particularly in London, which is still at the heart of the country’s outbreak
Alfa Saadu, 68, died yesterday morning after fighting coronavirus for a fortnight,
His death follows the deaths of GP Dr Habib Zaidi, 76, of Leigh-on-Sea, Essex; consultant Amged El-Hawrani, 55, of Burton, and surgeon Dr Adil El Tayar, 63, of Hereford.
It comes as the UK recorded another 563 coronavirus deaths yesterday, making it the worst day so far in the devastating COVID-19 crisis.
The increase takes the country’s total death toll to 2,352 – today’s surge is 48 per cent larger than yesterday’s increase of 381 fatalities and pushes the total up by 31 per cent in a day.
And 29,474 people have now tested positive for COVID-19. The UK is the fifth hardest-hit nation in Europe and eighth in the world.
Fallen heroes from the NHS frontline: Retired physician, 68, who returned to work to fight coronavirus becomes the fourth doctor to die after catching bug
A retired physician who returned to work to fight the coronavirus pandemic has become the fourth doctor in Britain to die after contracting the infection.
Alfa Saadu, 68, had been back at work at Queen Victoria Memorial Hospital in Welwyn, Hertfordshire, having retired in 2016 after a 40-year career in the NHS.
But Dr Saadu died on Tuesday morning after fighting coronavirus for a fortnight, meaning he is the fourth UK doctor to be killed by the bug over the past week.
It follows the deaths of GP Dr Habib Zaidi, 76, of Leigh-on-Sea, Essex; consultant Amged El-Hawrani, 55, of Burton, and surgeon Dr Adil El Tayar, 63, of Hereford.
Dr Zaidi’s family said he ‘sacrificed’ his life to help take care of his patients, while Dr El-Hawrani was described as ‘dedicated’ and ‘extremely hard-working’.
The other, Dr El Tayar, was an organ transplant consultant who developed symptoms after volunteering to help treat patients at Hereford County Hospital.
It comes as medics are still urging the Government for more personal protective equipment to keep them safe from the virus which has now killed 2,352 Britons.
The Royal College of Physicians has said around one in four NHS doctors are now off work, either with coronavirus or because a family member or housemate is ill.
Meanwhile doctors and nurses are being ‘gagged’ and may face the sack if they speak out over conditions on the frontline of the coronavirus pandemic.
Unions have warned NHS staff ‘should not be gagged’ after reports were published of staff being ordered not to speak to the media over concerns about PPE.
The British Medical Association says staff face ‘life-threatening shortages’ of protective equipment as they work with Covid-19 patients round the clock.
Some doctors have described how kit is being ‘hidden’ by desperate staff, while others have described how they feel as though it is ‘inevitable’ they will get sick.
Here are the three fallen heroes from the NHS frontline over the past week:
DR ALFA SAADU
Dr Alfa Saadu, 68, died yesterday morning after fighting the coronavirus for two weeks
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 yesterday morning 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, 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.’
DR HABIB ZAIDI, GP
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, believed to be the first British doctor to die from coronavirus, ‘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.
AMGED EL-HAWRANI, ENT CONSULTANT
Amged El-Hawrani was an ear, nose and throat specialist at Queen’s Hospital in Burton
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.
Dr 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.
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.
Dr 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
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.
Dr El-Hawrani was known for being ‘extremely hard-working’ and dedicated to his patients
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.’
Dr 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.’
ADIL EL TAYAR, TRANSPLANT SURGEON
Dr Adil El Tayar, 63, an organ transplant consultant, developed symptoms after he volunteered to help treat patients
A transplant surgeon who volunteered to work on the NHS frontline against coronavirus died from the disease.
Dr Adil El Tayar, 63, an organ transplant consultant, developed 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.’
Dr El Tayar, pictured with his family, self-isolated once he developed symptoms but had to be taken to hospital with breathing problems
Dr 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.’
Source: Daily Mail – Articles