A “hard-working” and “hugely popular” NHS nurse has died in Kent after testing positive for Covid-19.
Mum-of-three Aimee O’Rourke died at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Margate – where she had worked – on Thursday night.
The 39-year-old had joined the hospital’s acute medical unit as a newly-qualified nurse in 2017.
Paying tribute to O’Rourke, ward manager Julie Gammon said the whole team had been devastated by her death.
“She was such a kind and caring nurse, and she had a really special relationship with her patients and colleagues,” Gammon said.
“Nursing was something she had always wanted to do, although she came to it relatively late after raising her girls.
“She took some time out to care for her mum after she was diagnosed with cancer and she was determined to return and to make her mum proud.
“Aimee was a really valuable part of our work family and would always offer to help if she could. She was really growing and developing in her skills and confidence and I know she would have gone on to have a great career.”
Meanwhile Susan Acott, chief executive of East Kent Hospitals, described O’Rourke as “hard-working, dedicated and hugely popular with staff and patients alike”.
“She gave her all to care for our patients and her commitment was evident for all to see.
“On behalf of the whole trust I would like to offer our sincere condolences to her girls, whom she adored, and to all her family and friends.”
News of her death comes on the same day it was confirmed that NHS nurse Areema Nasreen, who worked at Walsall Manor Hospital, had also died after contracting coronavirus.
The 36-year-old mum-of-three had been on a ventilator at the hospital where she worked.
Fellow nurse Rubi Aktar said of her friend: “She was the most loveliest, genuine person you could ever meet, she went above and beyond for everyone she met.
“I’m so grateful that I had the honour to call her my best friend, she saw me at my best and my worst and accepted my every flaw.
“I am so broken that words can’t explain. I can’t believe I will not see your smile again.”
On Friday, the UK’s official coronavirus death toll reached 3,605 – an increase of 684 on the previous day.
UPDATE on coronavirus (#COVID19) testing in the UK:— Department of Health and Social Care (@DHSCgovuk) April 3, 2020
As of 9am 3 April, a total of 173,784 people have been tested of which 38,168 tested positive.
As of 5pm on 2 April, of those hospitalised in the UK who tested positive for coronavirus, 3,605 have sadly died. pic.twitter.com/vmTosNMPyS
A breakdown shows that, of the 684 UK deaths that happened in the 24 hours up to 5pm on Thursday, 604 were in England.
The people who died were aged between 24 and 100, NHS England said.
Of the 604 patients, 34 did not have any known underlying health conditions. They were aged between 27 and 92.
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This article originally appeared on HuffPost.