A well liked and respected staff nurse has died at a hospital in Lincolnshire run by the trust where he worked after testing positive for coronavirus, his employer has announced.
Anujkumar Kuttikkottu Pavithran, known as Anuj Kumar to his colleagues, died on Monday. He worked at Pilgrim Hospital in Boston, which is run by United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust.
His death came on the same day that UK observed a minute’s silence to honour the health and social care workers who have lost their lives during the coronavirus pandemic.
It also coincided with confirmation earlier this week of three more nurses having died as a result of Covid-19 and takes the death toll among UK nursing staff to over 50 since the pandemic began.
Andrew Morgan, chief executive of United Lincolnshire, said: “I am deeply saddened to share the news that one of our colleagues, who had tested positive for coronavirus, sadly died last night.
“Anujkumar Kuttikkottu Pavithran, known as Kumar to his colleagues, was a staff nurse at Pilgrim Hospital. He was a very well liked, professional, respected member of the team and will be greatly missed.”
He added: “We are all sending our heartfelt condolences to Kumar’s family, friends and colleagues at this incredibly difficult time.”
A local community group, SOS Pilgrim, said it was an “awful day”. “He and his family have paid a terrible price for putting patients first,” the group said on social media site Twitter.
“Everyone’s thoughts are with the family. We’ll be remembering him and paying our respects on Thursday evening, 8pm, at the Clap for Carers.”
A funding page set up on Facebook to support Mr Kumar’s family and help pay for a funeral. According to Jerry Varghese, who set up the fund, Mr Kumar was aged 44 and had a wife and two sons.
Mr Varghese also said Mr Kumar had only become a registered nurse in the autumn of last year after a previous career in healthcare and that his wife was currently a student nurse.
He said: “Anuj started his career in the NHS nine years ago. For him patient care was not just a job, but it was a passion. He studied nursing and became a qualified nurse by [September] 2019.
“He was a valuable member of the team and loved by his friends and family equally. During the unprecedented COVID crisis, Anuj worked day and night constantly, when he contracted this illness.”
Nursing Times has set up a special In Memory page on its website to remember the nursing staff that have so far lost their lives during the pandemic.