COVID-19: thousands raised for baby of nurse who died from coronavirus

Nurse died after her baby was delivered by caesarean section at the hospital where she had worked

Picture of Mary Agyeiwaa Agyapong, who died due to coronavirus after her baby was delivered by caesarean section at the hospital where she had worked.
Mary Agyeiwaa Agyapong

Tens of thousands of pounds have been raised for the family and newborn baby of an NHS nurse who died with COVID-19.

Mary Agyeiwaa Agyapong, 28, who worked as a nurse on a general ward at Luton and Dunstable University Hospital for five years, died on 12 April.

She died after her baby was delivered by caesarean section. The baby, a girl, is doing well, according to the hospital, although it is unclear whether she has also tested positive for the disease.

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Ms Agyapong’s husband is currently self-isolating and has also been tested for COVID-19.

Appeal raising funds for nurse’s family

Bedfordshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said Ms Agyapong tested positive on 5 April and two days later was admitted as a patient to the hospital where she worked.

Trust chief executive David Carter said: ‘Mary worked here for five years and was a highly valued and loved member of our team, a fantastic nurse and a great example of what we stand for in this trust.’

An appeal on Gofundme had raised more than £181,000 by Sunday, 19 April. The organiser of the appeal, Rhoda Asiedu, wrote on the page: ‘Mary was a blessing to everyone she came across and her love, care and sincerity will be irreplaceable.’

Ms Agyapong had been working at the hospital until 11 March, well into her third trimester, Channel 4 news reported.

The hospital said it did not have any COVID-19 patients before Ms Agyapong took maternity leave.

Colleagues paid tribute to Ms Agyapong, who also went by her married name Mary Boateng, on the GoFundMe page.

Renai Mcinerney wrote: ‘Sister Mary was my colleague, I worked alongside her for a few years. She deserves her family to be looked after, after she devoted her life to the NHS as a nurse.’

Tributes to long-serving nursing staff

Tributes have also been paid to Maureen Ellington, a healthcare assistant at Southmead Hospital in Bristol. Ms Ellington, who had worked for the NHS more than 25 years, died on 12 April.

Her manager, Suzanne Moss, said: ‘Maureen was a kind-hearted, compassionate and caring person and she brought all these attributes into her ward practice.’

A nurse who worked at Grennell Lodge nursing home in south London for more than 30 years died on 12 April with coronavirus. Rahima Bibi Sidhanee, originally from Trinidad, was a registered nurse and former midwife with nearly 50 years’ experience.

Danny Shamtally, the director of Care Unlimited, which operates the nursing home, said: ‘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.’

Tributes were also made to continuing health assessor Amor Gatinao whose death after being diagnosed with COVID-19 was confirmed by the North West London Collaboration of Clinical Commissioning Groups.

Deputy Head of the continuing healthcare team, Rebecca Campbell, said it had been an absolute pleasure to have known Ms Gatinao.

‘Amor was an incredibly kind, caring and warm hearted nurse,’ she said.

‘The family couldn’t hug her goodbye’

End-of-life care charity Marie Curie confirmed the death of one its nurses, Barbara Sage, who had 40 years’ experience in palliative care and died of COVID-19 on 12 April.

Marie Curie chief executive Matthew Reed said he had spoken to Ms Sage’s family about the pain of being unable to say goodbye in person, including her daughter, Donna.

‘I’ve spoken to Donna, who told me how her mother had spent all her life as a palliative care nurse, holding the hands of dying people and hugging their loved ones,’ he said. ‘She told me how she and the rest of the family couldn’t hold Barbara’s hand as she was dying. They couldn’t hug her goodbye.’

Mr Reed said everyone who worked with Ms Sage could attest to her professionalism and commitment to patients and that she would be greatly missed.

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