An ear, nose and throat consultant has become the first hospital frontline worker to die after contracting coronavirus.
Amged El-Hawrani died at Glenfield Hospital in Leicester on Saturday (March 28), University Hospitals of Derby and Burton said.
The 55-year-old Associate Clinical Director and consultant at Queen’s Hospital Burton had tested positive for COVID-19, the trust said.
NHS England said that he is the first confirmed hospital frontline worker to die.
Tributes have poured in for El-Hawrani from his family and wider NHS officials, who warned of the importance for people to practice social distancing to help limit the spread of the virus.
A statement from his family described him as a loving and much-loved husband, son, father, brother, and friend whose greatest passions were his family and his profession.
“Amged reached the very top of his profession and we know he made a difference to thousands of lives during his career,” his family said.
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“He viewed his role as a doctor as one of life’s most noble pursuits. He was also a leader, who educated many doctors who have subsequently become ENT consultants. We are incredibly proud of the legacy he has left behind and all that he has achieved.
“We would like to thank all those involved in his care for their kindness and compassion during his illness. They worked tirelessly for their patient, as he would have done for his own.”
El-Hawrani’s son Ashraf added: "Most of my Dad's time was dedicated towards his family, and the rest of that time was dedicated towards his profession.
“He taught me the significance of respect and equality. He also stressed the importance of not worrying about the things I cannot control, which he displayed to me right up until the end of his life.
“He did not seek the praise and approval of others, he was satisfied by viewing the positive effects of his actions and the wellbeing of his family. I am incredibly proud to say that for 18 years of my life, Amged El-Hawrani was my father."
Gavin Boyle, chief executive of University Hospitals of Derby and Burton, described El-Hawrani as “extremely hard working” and “well liked” and said he had played a leading role in the merger between the hospitals in Burton and Derby.
“He was known for his dedication and commitment to his patients,” he said. “He had also raised funds for the hospitals, including climbing in the Himalayas with a group of friends some years ago. The whole UHDB family are desperately saddened at losing Amged who was such a valued and much loved colleague.”
NHS national medical director Professor Stephen Powis added: “The NHS is a family and we all feel deeply the loss of any of our colleagues, but as we all continue to unite and work together to tackle the spread of coronavirus, I know that the whole of the NHS and the public we serve will want to extend our sympathies to the El-Hawrani family.
“Nobody can be in any doubt about the scale of the challenge we face with this virus, and Amged’s death is not just an individual human tragedy but a stark reminder to the whole country that we all must take this crisis seriously, which means everyone abiding by the government’s clear instructions to stay indoors, self-isolate, keep strictly to social distancing advice and practise good hygiene, which means washing hands more often and for longer.
“The advice issued by government and the health service can be the difference between life and death, so this is everybody’s chance to be a lifesaver.”