COVID-19: 'Incredible' NHS doctor dies with coronavirus after spending two years saving others with the infection

·2-min read

A doctor who spent the last two years saving the lives of COVID-19 patients has died after catching the virus.

Dr Irfan Halim stayed away from his family for four months at the height of the pandemic to protect them while he was working in COVID-19 wards.

He collapsed on 10 September while he was on shift at Swindon Hospital, where he caught the disease, according to his wife Saila.

He was treated in intensive care in Swindon until 23 September, when he was transferred to The Royal Brompton in London to receive specialist life support.

Dr Halim was placed on extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), a machine that temporarily replaces the function of the heart and lungs.

The treatment is used for COVID-19 patients who cannot breathe for themselves, even with the help of a ventilator.

"Irfan and the NHS worked frantically to bring him home to his beautiful family, but tragically he passed away after a nine-week fight against COVID," according to a fundraising page set up in his memory.

Close friends and family said they set up the page for his wife and children "to ease the burden" of losing him.

Dr Halim, described as a "wonderful, talented and incredible NHS doctor who worked hard to help others", was the sole source of income for his family.

"Irfan was dearly loved and touched so many people's lives," the fundraising page said. "Sadly, he was taken far too soon from those who love him."

"Not only was he a loving husband, a devoted father of four young beautiful children, but an incredibly awesome human being to all that were blessed to have met him."

His wife said the day he collapsed from COVID-19 was "just another day saving lives".

"He fought hard to be with his children every day," she said.

"With a broken heart shattered in pieces beyond imagination I muster what little strength I have to write this message."

Sean Wright, who donated to the fundraiser, said: "The family will know this already but Dr Irfan Halim is a true hero and they should feel rightly proud of the sacrifice he has made for others.

"His actions speak to his character and his direct help to others will undoubtedly inspire others to be more selfless and kind (including myself)."

Phoenix D, another contributor, called Dr Halim's death a "devastating loss".

"The day before Irfan collapsed, he was texting excitedly about a surprise birthday party he was 'plotting' for his wife, Saila," he said.

"This guy was a genius, and I was so sure he would pull through. I had no doubt he would walk. I was wrong. RIP Irfan. You won't be forgotten."

More than £83,000 has been donated so far by at least 471 people.

The family's goal is £100,000.

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