A consultant has become the first frontline NHS hospital worker to die after testing positive for coronavirus, NHS England said.
Amged El-Hawrani, aged 55, died at the Glenfield Hospital in Leicester on Saturday evening, the University Hospitals of Derby and Burton (UHDB) said.
Mr El-Hawrani worked as an Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) surgeon at the Queen’s Hospital Burton – playing a leading role in merging the Burton and Derby hospitals.
The PA news agency understands he had not been in contact with patients in recent weeks.
A statement made on behalf of Mr El-Hawrani’s family said: “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. He always put everyone else before himself.
“We all turned to him when we needed support and he was always there for us. He had so many responsibilities and yet he never complained.
“Amged reached the very top of his profession and we know he made a difference to thousands of lives during his career.
“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.
“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 (UHDB), said: “I want to pay tribute to Mr Amged El-Hawrani, who has sadly passed away.
“Mr El-Hawrani, known to his colleagues as Amged, was an extremely hard working consultant and Ear, Nose and Throat trainer who was well liked at the Trust and particularly at Queen’s Hospital Burton where he worked.
“Amged played a leading role in the merger between the hospitals in Burton and Derby and helped bring the two clinical teams together. He was keen to support colleagues outside of ENT and was well known across a wide number of departments.
“He was known for his dedication and commitment to his patients. 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.
“On behalf of everyone here at UHDB, including our patients and the communities we serve, I would like to offer our sincere condolences to his family.
“We would also like to thank our colleagues at University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust for their professionalism and the compassionate care they have shown for Amged and his family.”
Mr El-Hawrani’s son Ashraf said: “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.”
Professor Stephen Powis, NHS national medical director, said: “My deepest condolences are with Amged’s family at this extremely sad time.
“The NHS is a family and we all feel deeply the loss of any of our colleagues, 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.”
It’s with deep sadness that we share this news. Over the weekend we lost a dear colleague from Queen’s Hospital Burton who contracted COVID 19. https://t.co/T4qT9jIYJG
— University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS FT (@UHDBTrust) March 29, 2020
At the daily Number 10 press conference, Housing Communities and Local Government Secretary Robert Jenrick said he had heard the consultant “very sadly passed away”.
He added: “The deaths we are reporting daily at these press conferences are very sobering.
“Every death is a tragedy, we don’t want to see any unnecessary death.”