A midwife originally from Hong Kong. A hospital cleaner who became a nurse. A retired village GP who carried on caring for his former patients.

Thousands of people in the UK have now died with coronavirus, including doctors, nurses, surgeons and other NHS workers.

Here are some of their stories.

Melujean Ballesteros, 60

Melujean Ballesteros


Originally from the Philippines, Mrs Ballesteros “loved her work as a nurse”, her son, Rainier, said.

Her two sons, Rainier and Bryan, both live in the Philippines, and Mrs Ballesteros lived in the UK with her husband Luis, 64. She was admitted to St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington, London, on 10 April but died two days later.

Kevin Smith

Kevin Smith

Image copyright DBTH NHS TRUST

Kev, as he was known to friends and colleagues, was “renowned for his warm personality, diligence and compassion”, Richard Parker, chief executive at Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals, said.

Mr Smith, a plaster technician at Doncaster Royal Infirmary, was “a valued member of the team for over 35 years”. Mr Parker said he was “utterly heartbroken” to share the news of his death.

Elbert Rico

Mr Rico worked as a porter at John Radcliffe Hospital, in Oxford, after moving to the UK from the Philippines, in 2004. Married to a nurse at the hospital, he was “popular and hard-working”, colleagues said.

His daughter, Carla, set up a GoFundMe page for his funeral which raised £12,000 in a day. “He would walk around the hospital with a smile on his face and very rarely would he call in sick from work,” she said.

Oscar King Jr

Mr King Jr was also a porter at John Radcliffe Hospital and also originally from the Philippines.

He is believed to have worked at the hospital for 10 years and was described as a “beloved friend, loving husband, and devoted father” to his 10-year-old daughter.

Sara Trollope, 51

The mother of four was a matron at Hillingdon Hospital, where she cared for older patients with mental health problems and dementia. On Saturday, the trust confirmed her death at Watford General Hospital.

Her husband, Gary, said she was devoted to her family – to her daughters, Gemma and Freya, and twin sons, Kyle and Michael.

“Sara had that unbeatable combination of kindness, selflessness and total determination to get things right for patients”, colleague Dr Paul Hopper added.

Donna Campbell

Donna Campbell


Ms Campbell, a mother of two, was a “treasured” member of staff who could “light up a room with her infectious laugh and bubbly personality”, colleagues said.

“She was often found singing and dancing, entertaining patients and staff, making everyone smile,” they added. Ms Campbell was a healthcare support worker who worked at the Velindre Cancer Centre, in Cardiff.

She died at the University Hospital Wales in Cardiff on 10 April.

Donald Suelto

Colleagues said the nurse, who was originally from the Philippines and worked at Hammersmith Hospital, in west London, “loved his NHS job”.

Last month, he changed his Facebook profile picture to an image of him wearing a protective mask emblazoned with the words: “I can’t stay at home, I’m a healthcare worker.”

He died after going into self-isolation with coronavirus symptoms, a friend and fellow nurse said.

Barbara Moore, 54

Barbara Moore


The grandmother, who worked at Royal Liverpool University Hospital, was an “unsung hero”, her local NHS trust said.

Her job was to make arrangements to allow patients to safely leave hospital, having spent most of her career as a care worker for people with disabilities.

“Barbara was a much-loved wife, mum, nan, sister, auntie, friend and beautiful person,” her family said. “She loved nothing more than spending precious time with her family.”

Gareth Roberts

Gareth Roberts

Image copyright CARDIFF AND VALE UNIVERSITY HEALTH BOARD Image caption Mr Roberts worked as a nurse in the Cardiff and Vale health board area

A grandfather, Gareth Roberts had worked as a nurse at sites across the Cardiff and Vale health board since the 1980s. He had retired in December 2014 before returning to work in January 2015.

He was “extremely popular, fun-filled and well-liked”, the board said while staff said he was a “kind and helpful person”.

Mr Roberts died at the Prince Charles Hospital in Merthyr Tydfil.

Julie Omar, 52

Julie Omar had been working as a sister on Ward 14 at the Alexandra Hospital in Redditch, and had also previously worked with the trauma team at Worcestershire Royal Hospital.

She was a “much-loved member” of its nursing team, said the Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, and a “dedicated and highly experienced trauma and orthopaedics nurse“.

She died at home on 10 April, and leaves a husband, Laith, and a grown-up daughter.

Abdul Mabud Chowdhury, 53

Abdul Mabud Chowdhury

Image copyright GOLAM RAHAT KHAN/PA MEDIA Image caption Dr Chowdhury was described by family and friends as “compassionate” and “so caring”

A married father-of-two, Dr Chowdhury was a consultant urologist at Homerton University Hospital, in east London.

His son Intisar described the consultant urologist as a “kind and compassionate hero” who had been in “such pain” when he wrote an appeal to the government on Facebook, warning about a lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) for NHS workers.

“He wrote that post while he was in that state, just because of how much he cared about his co-workers,” his son said.

“He was so caring, he would call us very often to come to his house,” family friend and fellow doctor Golam Rahat Khan said.

Dr Chowdhury died on 8 April.

Dr Edmond Adedeji, 62

Dr Edmond Adedeji

Image copyright FAMILY HANDOUT Image caption Dr Adedeji was a father-of-three and also had three grandchildren

Dr Edmond Adedeji worked as a locum registrar in the emergency department of Great Western Hospital in Swindon, Wiltshire.

“He died doing a job he loved, serving others before himself,” his family said in a statement.

The hospital’s chief executive added he was a “respected and well-liked member of the team”.

Dr Adedeji died on 8 April.

Elsie Sazuze

Elsie Sazuze

Image copyright FAMILY HANDOUT

The care home nurse fell ill at home, in Birmingham, before being taken hospital, where she died on 7 April.

Ken, her husband, said she rang him before she was put on a ventilator: “She started telling me, ‘Ken, if I don’t come back be strong, I love you, be strong for the kids’,” he said.

She worked at New Cross Hospital, in Wolverhampton, and understood the risks of working on the front line – but wanted to help people, he added.

Alice Kit Tak Ong, 70

Ms Ong “loved her job”, her daughter Melissa told the PA news agency.

She said her mother came to London from Hong Kong in the 1970s to join the NHS “because she believed it was the best in the world”.

Ms Ong began her career as a midwife and was working full-time at two surgeries and holding baby clinics before falling ill.

She died on 7 April.

Leilani Dayrit, 47

Leilani Dayrit

Image copyright FAMILY HANDOUT Image caption Leilani Dayrit was based at St Cross Hospital in Rugby

Sister Leilani Dayrit died of suspected coronavirus after displaying symptoms at work, her daughter has said.

Mary Dayrit, 19, said her mother had been “selfless until the very end” and “put other people’s wellbeing before her own”.

She had asthma, and had been self-isolating at home for seven days before she died on 7 April. She had stopped breathing and paramedics were unable to revive her.

Mary said her mother was a compassionate woman who “made sure to spread joy, happiness and love to anyone that ever needed it.”

Janice Graham, 58

Janice Graham

Image copyright GRAHAM FAMILY Image caption Ms Graham was remembered by colleagues for her “kindness and compassion”

Ms Graham was the first NHS worker in Scotland to die from coronavirus.

“My Mum was there for me no matter what. I will miss everything about her,” her son told STV News.

A healthcare support worker and district nurse, Ms Graham died at Inverclyde Royal Hospital on 6 April.

Dr Syed Zishan Haider, 79

Dr Syed Zishan Haider

Image copyright HAIDER FAMILY Image caption   Colleagues and patients have contacted Dr Haider’s family with stories of his kindness during his long career as a GP in east London

“Our father was a selfless and compassionate doctor for over 50 years,” Dr Haider’s daughter told the BBC after the death of the GP, who served as a senior partner at Valance Medical Centre, in Dagenham, east London.

“His dedication to help people everywhere, be it professionally or personally was unwavering.

“We are truly astounded as to how many people have reached out to share a story of his kindness, and continue to receive touching tributes from colleagues, patients, friends and family alike,” Samina Haider said.

Dr Haider, who died on 6 April, also worked for more than 30 years as a senior homeopathic physician at the Royal London Hospital for Integrated Medicine.

Aimee O’Rourke, 39

Aimee O'Rourke

Image caption Nurse and mother-of-three Ms O’Rourke died at the hospital where she worked.

Ms O’Rourke was “such a kind and caring nurse” who had “a really special relationship with her patients and colleagues”, said the ward manager of the acute medical unit she worked in.

“Nursing was something she had always wanted to do, although she came to it relatively late after raising her girls.”

The 39-year-old died at the hospital where she worked – the Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother Hospital, in Margate, Kent – on 2 April.

Areema Nasreen, 36

Ms Nasreen worked as a hospital cleaner before gaining her nursing qualification in 2019.

She died on 2 April at Walsall Manor Hospital, in the West Midlands – the hospital she had worked at for 16 years.

“We’ve lost an amazing nurse, but we’ve lost also an amazing person in life,” her sister Kazeema Nasreen said.

The chief executive of Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust said Ms Nasreen “always said 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.”

Lynsay Coventry, 54

The grandmother “followed her dream” and trained as a midwife in later life, her family said in a statement.

“She was a very well-respected midwife who supported many hundreds of women as they welcomed their babies into the world,” they added.

Ms Coventry had worked at the Princess Alexandra Hospital, in Harlow, Essex, for 10 years. She died on 2 April.

Pooja Sharma

Ms Sharma, who worked as a pharmacist at Eastbourne District General Hospital, was the “superstar of the family”, her brother said.

“Her irresistible laugh, sense of humour and good nature would light up our world and fill it with colours. For this I am eternally grateful that Pooja was my sister.

“For me, Pooja would always be the little protector or shield for when I had done something mischievous and she would cover for me with my parents.”

Dr Fayez Ayache, 76

Dr Fayez Ayache

Image copyright EAST ANGLIAN DAILY TIMES Image caption Dr Ayache’s daughter said he was “the most dedicated GP”

Dr Ayache stopped working a month before he died, but his family say they think he continued to visit patients in their homes in an effort to help.

The retired GP, who worked for the NHS in Suffolk for more than 40 years, “would often pop round and just check [former patients] were OK”, his daughter Layla Ayache said.

“He was a rural village GP at heart,” she added.

He had also helped to raise money for refugee charities to help people in Syria, where he was born.

Ms Ayache said her father’s “entire life was split between his family and his work”, adding: “That was all he lived for really, was those two things.”

He died on 8 April.

Jitendra Rathod, 62

Jitendra Rathod

Image copyright CARDIFF AND VALE UNIVERSITY HEALTH BOARD Image caption Former colleagues of Dr Rathod said he was a “talented, skilled and kind clinician”

Father-of-two Jitendra Rathod was a “dearly loved” specialist heart surgeon at the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff, where he spent 25 years.

The health board’s chief executive said he was a “great” surgeon who would be missed by his colleagues.

Mr Rathod died in the intensive care ward at the hospital on 6 April.

Rebecca Mack, 29

Rebecca Mack

Image copyright SARA BREDIN-KEMP Image caption A friend said Ms Mack was “one of a kind”

The nurse had worked in the children’s cancer unit at Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary before taking up other roles in the health sector.

“She was a devoted friend, an incredible nurse and an unapologetically imperfect person,” one of her friends said in a Facebook post.

Ms Mack was not believed to have been directly dealing with patients before becoming ill.

She died on 5 April.

Glen Corbin, 59

A healthcare assistant, Mr Corbin worked at the Park Royal Centre for Mental Health, in north-west London, for more than 25 years.

“He was the ‘go to’ person who knew everything about the ward and how to get things done,” said Claire Murdoch, head of the local NHS trust, adding he was the “backbone” of his team.

Mr Corbin died on 4 April.

Dr Anton Sebastianpillai

Dr Anton Sebastianpillai

Image copyright KINGSTON HOSPITAL Image caption MP Ed Davey said he’d been “privileged” to meet Dr Sebastianpillai to discuss the health service as well as Tamil history

A published historian, Dr Sebastianpillai trained at a medical school in Sri Lanka and went on to specialise in treating elderly people at Kingston Hospital in south-west London.

He was “hugely respected as a consultant and author”, Ed Davey, acting Lib Dem leader, said.

He described the consultant geriatrician’s book, A Complete Illustrated History of Sri Lanka, as “world class”.

Dr Sebastianpillai, who was in his 70s, died on 4 April.

Liz Glanister, 68

Ms Glanister was a “long-serving” nurse at the Aintree University Hospital, in Liverpool.

“We are so proud to see just how many people’s lives Liz has touched,” her family said in a statement.

“Losing a loved one at any time is heartbreaking, but to go through it as we and many other families are is simply beyond words.”

Ms Glanister – pictured centre, below – died on 3 April at Royal Liverpool University Hospital.

Please follow this link for the original publication site of this article – https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-52242856