Second NHS nurse dies after being diagnosed with coronavirus

3 April 2020, 17:02

Aimee O'Rourke, 39, died after testing positive for coronavirus
Aimee O'Rourke, 39, died after testing positive for coronavirus. Picture: GoFundMe
Nick Hardinges

By Nick Hardinges

A second "brave" NHS nurse has died in the past 24 hours after being diagnosed with coronavirus.

Aimee O'Rourke, 39, passed away at the Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother Hospital in Margate, Kent, where she worked on the frontline in the battle against Covid-19.

Tributes have poured in for the medic who "gave her life to make sure other people survived" during the coronavirus outbreak.

Her co-workers described her as "a wonderful friend and colleague," while her daughter, Megan Murphy, described her as "an angel". Another friend called her "one in a million".

It is unclear whether she had any underlying health conditions before being diagnosed with Covid-19.

Ms O'Rourke joined the acute medical unit as a newly-qualified nurse in 2017.

She is the second nurse to have died after contracting coronavirus, following the new that 36-year-old Areema Nasreen also passed away in Walsall.

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In a Facebook tribute, her daughter said: "Look at all the lives you looked after and all the families you comforted when patients passed away.

"You are an angel and you will wear your NHS crown forevermore because you earned that crown the very first day you started!

"Your Meggy misses you beyond belief. One day when I have children of my own I will tell your grandchildren about their GG (glamorous gran) which you wanted to be called, every single day.

"I can't believe one day I will have to go through labour without my mummy!!! I could go on all day long and have so many things to say but I have to be strong!! Night-night mummy."

On Thursday, Ms Murphy took to social media to urge people to shout her mother's name during the 8pm nationwide applause for NHS staff, before her condition deteriorated further.

Ward manager Julie Gammon, who sat with Ms O'Rourke when she was admitted, was "honoured" to be able to be with her and to provide some comfort."

Ms Gammon said: "She was such a kind and caring nurse, and she had a really special relationship with her patients and colleagues."

Ms O'Rourke's friends and colleagues remembered the nurse with fondness and in particular her dedication to her patients.

Lucy Page wrote: "Aimee taught to me fight for what I believe in and gave me courage so many times to do it.

"I was even more lucky not only to be her friend but her work colleague as well and I cannot tell how many times I saw her fighting for what was right for her patients."

Kayley Walke added: "Life is so unfair. You were a wonderful friend and colleague. There will be a huge part of our team missing."

A GoFundMe memorial page has been set up to help Ms O'Rourke's family.

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She is the second nurse to have died after contracting coronavirus while working on the frontline of the NHS.

Areema Nasreen, 36, described as a "fit and healthy" woman became the sixth NHS medic to die after contracting the disease.

Ms Nasreen was being treated for coronavirus in the intensive care unit at Walsall Manor Hospital in the West Midlands, where she also worked.

The mother-of-three was said to have been on annual leave when she started showing symptoms and was not believed to have got infected at work.

Her friend Rubi Aktar announced the sad news on Facebook and said: "She was the most loveliest, genuine person you could ever meet, she went above and beyond for everyone she met."