Emotional tributes are pouring in for Walsall Manor Hospital staff nurse Areema Nasreen after her death aged 36.
Areema, who had three children, died in intensive care at the hospital where she had worked for 17 years in the early hours of Friday morning.
She had been on a ventilator after initially becoming unwell when she contracted Covid-19 in late March.
But in news that has devastated her many friends and family, Areema is now believed to be the youngest health worker to die in the UK after contracting the virus.
Walsall Healthcare Trust today paid tribute to “one of its family”, while the director of the Royal College of Nursing described Areema as “a leading figure in the West Midlands nursing community.”
“Today, we lost one of our family,” Chief Executive of Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust Richard Beeken said.
“We would like to pay tribute to Areema Nasreen who sadly passed away in the early hours of this morning . Any death is devastating but losing one of our own is beyond words.
“Areema was extremely committed to her role as a staff nurse on the Acute Medical Unit at Manor Hospital.
“She was professional, passionate nurse who started at the trust as a housekeeper in 2003 before working hard to gain her nursing qualification in January 2019.
“Her dedication to her role and her popularity amongst her colleagues is obvious to see with the outpouring of grief and concern we are seeing around the organisation and on social media.
“We will do everything that we can in coming days and weeks to support those that need it.
“Her vocation in nursing was clear for all to see and she always said that she was so blessed to have the role of a nurse which she absolutely loved because she wanted to feel like ‘she could want to make a difference’ – and you did, Areema, you will be very sadly missed.
On behalf of the Royal College of Nursing I want to extend my deepest sympathies to Areema Nasreen’s family. To lose anyone to this terrible virus is a tragedy, to lose a nurse like Areema is particularly difficult.
— Mike Adams RN (@MikeAdamsRCN)
“We would, on behalf of the trust like to pass our deepest condolences to Areema’s family, loved ones and colleagues who loved her dearly, our thoughts are with you all at this very sad time.
“We will be opening a book of condolence later on our website.
The final tweet Areema posted, on March 9, included a photo of a letter she received confirming her offer of employment at Walsall Manor in 2003.
“17 years on Allhamdulillah still going love my journey at Walsall Healthcare Trust,” Areema wrote.
Sending sincerest condolences to the family, friends and colleagues at Walsall Manor Hospital of Areema Nasreen who died at just 36, of this awful virus.
Another example of the heroism and dedication of NHS staff, making the ultimate sacrifice.
Rest in peace Areema ❤️ pic.twitter.com/fURfeiIzGE
— Stan Collymore (@StanCollymore)
Meanwhile numerous tributes have been paid online by friends, colleagues, family members and people who never knew Areema but wanted to thank her for her service.
Among those paying tribute were Royal College of Nursing Director Mike Adams, who said: “On behalf of the Royal College of Nursing I want to extend my deepest sympathies to Areema Nasreen’s family.
“To lose anyone to this terrible virus is a tragedy, to lose a nurse like Areema is particularly difficult.
“She was admired for her dedication to those she cared for, and as an RCN West Midlands Cultural Ambassador, she will be remembered and celebrated as a leading figure in the West Midlands nursing community.
“Admired for her dedication to those in her care, and as an RCN West Midlands Cultural Ambassador, she will be remembered and celebrated as a leading figure in the West Midlands nursing community.”