As the cold hands of Covid19 continue to ravage through humanity throughout the world, the UK has become one of the worst-hit at the moment with over 15,000 deaths recorded, sadly, the black community and other minority ethnic groups have been hit the hardest. We are especially moved and proud to celebrate and keep the memory of the sacrifices these heroes from our community have made, fighting in the frontline. Most of these professionals came over here in the UK looking for greener pastures. Some of them are their families breadwinners and only hope both here and at their country homes. Some of them died in active services not counted or valued as a bonafide citizen of this country – the UK, yet they died giving their all. We will remember them.
Some of these angels were invisible in a nation they served and gave their lives for. Even in death, some of them have not been countered. We will do our best to keep their names and their sacrifices as visible as possible.
#Saytheirnames #MakethemcountFaustina Anaynwu
Please note: This will be regularly updated as we receive more information about these heroes. If you have any details and tributes you would like to add or know anyone that has been left out, please do get in touch – firstname.lastname@example.org
Mary Agyeiwaa Agyapong,
Occupation: NursePlace of work: Luton and Dunstable university hospital
Date of death: 12 April 2020
Mary Agyeiwaa Agyapong was pregnant when she died, and her baby was delivered successfully. She had worked for five years at Luton and Dunstable university hospital.
Mary’s death has been one of the most distressing for many and the question remains why she was allowed to still work even as she was heavily pregnant. Although there’s been a conflicting account to the circumstances of her death as a heavily pregnant woman. Some have said she was still working while the official news had it that she went on maternity leave from March 12th, it remains unclear how or where she contracted the virus.
Tributes: She was a “fantastic nurse and a great example of what we stand for in this trust”.- David Carter, the chief executive of Bedfordshire hospitals NHS foundation trust.
“Mary devoted her life to the NHS as a nurse”.- Former colleague.
Esther Iyabode Akinsanya
Place of work: Queen Elizabeth Hospital
Date of Death: 15th April 2020
Esther has been described as a devoted and diligent nurse that worked for the NHS for over 20 years. She worked at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Woolwich, where she caught the virus while in active service on the frontline treating and being in contact with COVID-19 patients. She left behind Samuel Akinsanya (eldest son), Racheal (Daughter, 14 years old), Grandson Elisha (3 years old) and her older sister Mary who is also an NHS nurse currently in a coma fighting COVID-19.
Tributes: “My mother was a kind, gentle, loyal and caring woman who wanted nothing but happiness for not just me and my younger sister but also all the people around us. I will describe my mum as an altruistic person who put us and everyone around her first in all circumstances.” The eldest son, Samuel Akinsanya, who has set up a gofundme to help with the cost of the funeral.
Rahima Bibi SidhaneeRahima Bibi Sidhanee
Occupation: Care, home nurse,
Place of work: Grennell Lodge nursing home
Date of death: 12 April 2020
Rahima Sidhanee, 68, refused to retire so she could continue helping others during the coronavirus outbreak. Ms Sidhanee, originally from Trinidad, had been a nurse for nearly 50 years and worked at the Grennell Lodge nursing home for more than 30 years.
“People were in need of her and she was there. She said the elderly people needed her and she actually started doing an extra shift.” – Her son, Abu Sidhanee.
She was a person of extreme kindness, selflessness and impeccable loyalty and integrity.Danny Shamtally, director of Care Unlimited the care provider Ms Sidhanee worked for.
She was a person of extreme kindness, selflessness and impeccable loyalty and integrity. Rahima loved nursing and the people she cared for, their happiness was of great importance to her and she would go above and beyond in her delivery of care. She was also a very good cook and would often make food for residents who were the Caribbean like herself, in her own time and at her own expense. There is so much one can say about this wonderful human being. We have lost an exemplary professional, a caring mother and a very good friend taken from us far too early.” – Danny Shamtally, director of Care Unlimited the care provider Ms Sidhanee worked for.
Occupation: Healthcare assistant
Place of work: Southmead hospital in Bristol
Date of death: 12 April 2020
Maureen Ellington died in the early hours of Easter Sunday after testing positive for the coronavirus. Maureen, who was in her early 60s, had worked for the NHS for over 25 years. Over the years, Maureen had worked within lots of different teams at North Bristol NHS Trust, at both Frenchay and Southmead Hospitals, and was well-loved by every colleague and patient she came into contact with.
Until her death, Maureen Ellington worked as a healthcare assistant at Southmead Hospital, North Bristol NHS Trust.
Maureen left behind her husband, five children, six grandchildren, wider family, friends and colleagues
She was kind-hearted, bubbly, caring and always joyous. She would light up any room she entered. She will always be in our hearts” – Family.
Maureen was a kind-hearted, compassionate and caring person and she brought all these attributes into her ward practice which made her a highly valued member of the team. Maureen put the patients and colleagues before herself and always had a smile on her face. She will be greatly missed and forever in our hearts. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends”.- Maureen’s manager, Suzanne Moss.
“Maureen put the patients and colleagues before herself and always had a smile on her face. She will be greatly missed and forever in our hearts.”Maureen’s manager, Suzanne Moss.
Charles Kwame Tanor
Occupation: Healthcare worker
Place of work: Unknown
Date of death: 11 April 2020
Charles Kwame Tanor moved to Britain from Ghana and is survived by his partner and four-year-old son. He attended Achimota high school in Ghana and later the National Film and Television Institute. He helped to produce films in the late 1990s.
“For those who knew Charles, he was a problem solver, ever so kind and always available to help even people he didn’t know. Charles died doing what he loves the most, helping the vulnerable.” – Georgina Osei, a friend who has set up a gofundme appeal.
Don’t usually share these but it’s different when it’s someone you know. Charles did shifts at the supported living project where I work. Never thought our jobs would become life-threatening.
Place of work: Velindre cancer centre in Cardiff
Date of death: 10 April 2020
Until her death, Donna Campbell worked and cared for patients at the Velindre Hospital in Cardiff. She was admitted to the University Hospital of Wales a before Easter weekend and passed away on Good Friday as confirmed by Velindre Hospital.
Donna Campbell who was described by colleagues as a “beautiful, kind-hearted friend”. Initially worked as a volunteer at the cancer centre before joining the team for many years.
Velindre University NHS Trust said: “She was often found singing and dancing, entertaining patients and staff, making everyone smile. Donna will always have a special place in our hearts and we will all want to send our heartfelt sympathy and love to her family at this very difficult time.”
“We are devastated to have lost a member of the Velindre family. We will always remember her as a dedicated, hard-working member of our nursing team who was proud to work for the NHS. First and foremost, we want to extend our deepest condolences to Donna’s family and friends.” – Chief Executive of Velindre University NHS Trust, Steve Ham.
Occupation: Ambulance care assistant
Place of work: Kingston hospital
Date of death: 9 April 2020
Abdul Gellaledin’s death was reported on Sunday (April 19) by the Nursing Notes website. He was described as a family man who was much adored in the community. He arrived in the UK from Sudan over 30 years ago and worked transporting elderly patients to and from Kingston hospital and care homes. He was also known by many in the community as a driver for the London United bus company for nearly a decade.
He left behind two sons, 11 and 16, as well as a daughter aged 20.
“Abdul and his crewmates developed symptoms for Covid-19 and they decided to immediately self-isolate for a period of two weeks due to continuous cough, fever and persistent headaches. He self-isolated for a period of nine days where his condition began to worsen and subsequently was brought into the hospital in an ambulance with severe breathing difficulties which coincided with the aforementioned fever and cough. Abdul was very active, fit and healthy,” said his nephew Ahmed Aburunnat.
“After an x-ray, it was discovered that he had developed pneumonia. Abdul was also in hospital for a number of days before being tested for Covid-19 which returned positive (after three days) and he was then transferred to the ICU,” he added.
His nephew said that he had concerns about a lack of personal protective equipment. He said: “Abdul was a very kind-hearted, warm, respectful, selfless gentleman who went above and beyond for everyone he encountered. Abdul was a bubbly individual famed for his interactions with customers, colleagues and friends.
Dr Alfa Saadu
Occupation: Part-time locum and retired medical director
Place of work: Princess Alexandra hospital
Date of death: 31 March 2020
Dr Alfa Saadu had nearly 40 years’ experience in the NHS. He died at the Whittington hospital in north London. He had been a medical director at the Princess Alexandra hospital in Essex and Ealing NHS trust, and had worked at many hospitals in the capital.
The former president of the Nigerian Senate, Dr Abubakar Bukola Saraki, posted his condolences on Twitter. He said Dr Saadu had been a chairman of the Kwara State Association, a community leader and traditional office holder as Galadima of Pategi.
His son, Dani Saadu, said of his father: “He was a very passionate man, who cared about saving people. As soon as you spoke to him about medicine or what was happening with the NHS his eyes would light up – he was very passionate.
“He was working part-time as a locum as he just could not fully retire. He just loved medicine so much. He worked for the NHS for nearly 40 years in different hospitals across London and he loved to lecture people in the world of medicine; he did so in the UK and Africa.”
Dr Eric Labeja-Acellam
Place of work: University Hospital Lewisham in South-east London
Date of death: 31 March 2020
Dr Eric Labeja-Acellam, originally from Uganda, is said to have died at King’s College Hospital. His wife, Jennifer Lawala, a well-known musician in Uganda, also contracted the coronavirus.
“If God could allow two people to go at the same time, I would want to go with my husband. I don’t know how I survived.” Talking about the last time she saw her husband, she said: “He held my hand, he didn’t want to let go of my hand when the ambulance came to get him.
“I told him: ‘You are going to come back,’ and he asked: ‘Can you come with me?’ The ambulance wouldn’t allow it.”His wife, Jennifer Lawala .
Occupation: Care Home nurse.
Place of work: Wolverhampton-based care agency Totally Care
Date of death: 8 April 2020
Elsie Sazuze, originally from Malawi, lived in Birmingham and worked at a Staffordshire nursing home and was described by a friend as “dedicated to helping people”.
After falling sick at home, she was taken to Good Hope hospital in Sutton Coldfield where she died, leaving behind her husband, Ken, a 22-year-old son and a daughter aged 16.
“Elsie was a naturally quiet person but very caring, friendly, cheerful and resilient. She had a passion to always help others. She was dedicated to helping people.” – William Fungatira, a childhood friend.
Occupation: Orthopaedics nurse
Place of work: Alexandra Hospital in Redditch, Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust.
Date of Death; Friday, 17th April.
Julie Omar had been working as a sister on Ward 14 at the Alexandra Hospital in Redditch, Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust.
The 52-year-old had been self-isolating at home but her condition deteriorated and she died at home on Friday.
Mrs Omar left behind her husband Laith and a daughter.
“Julie was a dedicated and highly experienced trauma and orthopaedics nurse who had worked with the trauma team at Worcestershire Royal Hospital.”
Occupation: Retired Mental health worker
Place of work: Central and North West London NHS trust
Date of death: 4 April 2020
Glen Corbin had recently returned to work as a bank healthcare assistant. He worked at Pine Ward at Park Royal centre for mental health (PRCMH) for many years, joining shortly after it opened in 1995. According to the NHS Trust where he last worked, he had been looking forward to his 60th birthday later this year.
He was the ‘go-to’ person who knew everything about the ward and how to get things doneCentral and North West London NHS trust
“He was the ‘go-to’ person who knew everything about the ward and how to get things done. He was instrumental in helping turn things around at Park Royal] and supporting the senior management team at the time. It is no secret he hated paperwork and the thing he valued most was being and working with service users.”
“Every time we had staff moves, Glen was always the first to say that he didn’t want to go anywhere else and that he would never be able to replicate the good experiences he had on Pine Ward.”
He was instrumental in helping turn things around and supporting the senior management team at the time. It is no secret he hated paperwork and the thing he valued most was being and working with service users. Service users often commented on his wonderful smile and positive attitude.
“PRCMH without Glen, it’s hard to imagine and he delighted in telling everyone he was so much looking forward to travelling back home to his beloved homeland when he wanted, in his words ‘to get some sun on my back,’” the trust said.