Fallen heroes from the NHS frontline: The three British doctors killed by coronavirus while battling to save lives – as medics are STILL crying out for vital PPE to keep them safe from bug
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These are the faces of the three British doctors killed by coronavirus while battling to save lives during the pandemic sweeping the country.
GP Dr Habib Zaidi, 76, of Leigh-on-Sea, Essex; consultant Amged El-Hawrani, 55, of Burton, Staffordshire, and surgeon Dr Adil El Tayar, 63, of Hereford, have all died.
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 third, 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 1,789 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 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.’
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